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MIL volleyball has new look

September 2, 2011 - Robert Collias
Here is the start of my preview of MIL girls volleyball, which is arguably coming off its best season ever:

A new day dawns for the Maui Interscholastic League in girls volleyball today.

Two of the best players ever to grace Maui County's league - one of whom was part of perhaps the best team ever - are gone.

Kalei Adolpho of Division II state champion Molokai made her debut for the University of Hawaii on Saturday, and second-team high school All-American Ginger Long of seven-time defending D-I champion Kamehameha Maui is on the Rainbow Wahine roster as well.

The Farmers, winners of the first state title ever for an MIL girls volleyball team, have just two starters returning - Natalia Levi and Leenell Hernandez.

Kalei Vaivai, the D-II MIL Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player in the state tournament for Molokai, is back at Baldwin, where she spent her freshman year. The return was necessitated by her recovery after she tore two knee ligaments in basketball.

Vaivai had some trouble with the knee again a couple of weeks ago at Kamehameha Maui's preseason tournament, but should be ready to go when league play begins today, according to Baldwin coach Kauila Houpo.

"She is not 100 percent, she is like 70 percent maybe, from last year's injury," Houpo said. "She is cleared to play. She is trying to get back into the groove. At the (Kamehameha) tournament, she just kind of tweaked it a little, the same knee. I just told her to stay off of it after that. I didn't want it to get any worse. She has been practicing, so she will be ready to go."

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