KS-Kapalama Sweeps Punahou to Win State VB Title
Championship appearances have been common for Kamehameha-Kapalama head coach Chris Blake.
So are championship victories.
Blake’s Warriors completed a three-set sweep of Interscholastic League of Honolulu rival Punahou to win the program’s nineteenth state championship in front of a packed Koai`a Gym on the campus of Kamehameha-Hawai`i.
Set scores were 25-19, 25-20, 25-15.
“I’m very proud of the girls. This feels great,” said Blake, who win his seventh championship as a coach. “The girls fought so hard this year. Punahou’s a great team and for us to go out and play the way we did today, we talked about playing our best match in the last match of the season, and I think we did that.”
An announced crowd of 1,204 volleyball fans watched as the ILH champion Warriors started strong in the opening set, taking a 6-0 run early on to lead Punahou 11-2. Buffanblu junior McKenna Rose Granato had her toughest stretch of the match during that run, committing three attack errors. Alohi Robins-Hardy added two of her match high 13 kills during the scoring streak.
As typical of this rivalry, the Buffanblu would find a way to fight back into the set, scoring six points in a row to cut the Warriors’ lead to 17-14. Kelly Matthews picked up a pair of kills and Granato added another during that stretch, while KS-Kapalama committed three attack errors.
Moments later, the Warriors went on a 4-0 run to push the lead back out to 24-17. After Punahou fought off two set points, Remo-Louise Gaogao smacked her serve into the net to hand Kamehameha the set.
Punahou (15-4) opened the second set with a 5-1 run, forcing Blake to call a timeout. Right off of the stoppage, the Warriors erased the deficit with four consecutive points. The Buffanblu held another four point lead at 12-8, but the Warriors would again fight it off with four straight to tie it again.
“We always stress on working on our side and doing our things, and we know what we can do,” said Blake. “The girls just had to make a few changes. We knew Punahou was going to make runs and do those kind of things. We trust in our girls and have great leaders and stepping up like how they did in those situations was great.”
Kamehameha-Kapalama (18-1) went on a 4-0 run of its own to lead 24-19 and closed the second frame two points later on a kill from Faith Ma`afala.
Punahou was rattled to open the third. Granato hit another dry spell with four attack errors in the set’s first seven points as the Warriors opened with a 6-1 advantage. First year head coach Tanya Fuamatu-Anderson didn’t use a timeout to stop the action and let her team play through the pressure. The Buffanblu got back within a point of Kamehameha at 12-11 with a pair of kills from Granato and Sydney Fanoga.
A pair of Blake’s seniors, Ma`afala and Robins-Hardy, took over with three kills and seven assists to push Kamehameha ahead late. Ma`afala recorded seven kills, 21 assists, and 12 digs while Robins-Hardy added 16 digs and 18 assists to her match-high kill mark.
“Those two have been here from the beginning,” said Blake after the match. “They have been four year starters for us and part of our last team that won states. For them, it’s been a mission for us to get out there and do the things that we are doing and they have been instrumental in us doing the things that we did this year. I’m so proud of them and their leadership.”
Junior Taylor Takeda wrapped up the match with an ace to start a celebration that hasn’t happened since 2010.
Junior Tiyana Hallums picked up 12 kills and added 10 digs to win her first volleyball championship. The Warriors hit .219 with 45 kills while adding four blocks.
Granato led Punahou with 10 kills but also accumulated 10 errors. The Buffanblu hit .098 for the match and hit five service errors.
Punahou 19 20 15 – 0
Kamehameha-Kapalama 25 25 25 – 3
Konawaena wins first state volleyball championship
While many eyes were locked on the all-ILH final in Kea`au, lots of interest was focused on the all-Big Island Interscholastic Federation championship played at McKinley High School on Oahu.
Unseeded Konawaena, who got by top-seed University High in the quarterfinals, defeated BIIF champion Hawai`i Preparatory Academy 3-1 to win its first state championship in girls volleyball.
Set scores were 25-16, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21.
Sophomore Chanelle Molina, making her second state tournament final appearance after playing for the Konawaena girls basketball team in February, led the Wildcats with 28 kills and 20 digs. The Wildcats had 55 kills and five service aces while hitting .134 for the match.
Gabbie Ewing led Ka Makani with 22 kills and 25 digs in the losing effort. Tiana Reynolds added 12 kills, 20 digs, and three service aces. Hawai`i Prep had seven blocks, but hit .118 with just 39 kills.
New City Nissan / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division I Girls Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Most Outstanding Player – Alohi Robins-Hardy, Kamehameha-Kapalama
Angel Alameda, Hilo
Faith Ma`afala, Kamehameha-Kapalama
Kiana Tuileta, Punahou
Sarah Liva, Mililani
Adora Anae, Kahuku
Silerolia Gaogao, Moanalua
Tiyana Hallums, Kamehameha-Kapalama
Jordyn Kaemo, Mililani
Alohi Robins-Hardy, Kamehameha-Kapalama
New City Nissan / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division II Girls Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Most Outstanding Player – Chanelle Molina, Konawaena
Gabbie Ewing, Hawai`i Prep
Malia Luis-Mateo, Saint Francis
Kawena Warren, Waimea
Celena Molina, Konawaena
Tiana Reynolds, Hawai`i Prep
Keahelaumakani Wall, Konawaena
Ela Seier, Konawaena