Boys volleyball

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Saving their best for last: Punahou stuns ‘Iolani for state title

By Paul Honda on May 5, 2019

Two powerhouses, one throne. Punahou made up an impressive amount of ground in a span of two weeks, emerging from the runner-up spot in the ILH to state champion for an eighth year in a row. In the process, Coach Rick Tune’s team tipped over the mighty machine of ‘Iolani, which had played superlative volleyball, particularly while sinking Punahou three times late in the ILH season. The Buffanblu’s 25-16, 24-26, 25-19, 25-22 victory over top-seeded ‘Iolani wasn’t a shock. It […]

Tears of joy as St. Francis closes its doors with repeat volleyball state title

By Paul Honda on May 4, 2019

Dandi Holder is a stickler for fundamentals and technical skill. She also admits that the overflowing spirit of her Saints is immeasurable. Moments after St. Francis repeated as boys volleyball Division II state champions with a 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-12 win over Kapaa, Holder talked about her team’s relentless spirit. “The kids, their heart, you can’t coach heart. They wanted it, they really, really wanted it, especially it being our last (match) ever,” Holder said. >> CLICK HERE FOR A […]

Block party turns corner for Punahou in comeback win over Moanalua

By Paul Honda on May 4, 2019

Rare is the season when the Punahou boys volleyball team is an underdog. The Buffanblu have learned to relish the tag. They rallied for a 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 15-5 win at Moanalua on Friday night, overcoming 30 kills by Max Slaughter and a spirited home crowd. Punahou (13-4) has won the last seven state titles, and nine of the last 10 under coach Rick Tune. The program has dominated the state tourney with 36 koa trophies since 1972. Underdog? […]


Carter Kamana’s 5 blocks lead ‘Iolani’s big red wall into final

By Paul Honda on May 3, 2019

For a set, the Kalaheo Mustangs were the magnificent Mustangs. They took almost every haymaker the top-seeded ‘Iolani Raiders could throw, but the ILH champions eked out the win in the first set, then rolled to a 25-19, 25-7, 25-18 victory in the semifinals of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Championships at Moanalua gym. ‘Iolani (13-4) will face Punahou or Moanalua in the final on Saturday night at Blaisdell Center. >> CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM […]

Moanalua going to Max (Slaughter) in showdown with Punahou

By Paul Honda on May 3, 2019

For two sets, Moanalua simply overwhelmed Mililani. For two more sets, it was Mililani clawing its way back, a few points away from sending a crucial quarterfinal match to a fifth set. No. 2 seed Moanalua wasn’t staggered for long, though, advancing to the semifinal round of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Championships with a 25-17, 25-9, 22-25, 25-22 victory over the Trojans on Thursday night. Na Menehune will square off against seven-time defending state champion Punahou on […]

Unseeded, 7-time defending champ Punahou sweeps KS-Hawaii

By Paul Honda on May 2, 2019

Winning seven state titles in a row doesn’t happen often. That’s why coach Rick Tune gleaned all he could from Punahou’s preseason matchups with a dangerous Kamehameha-Hawaii squad. The Buffanblu swept the third-seeded Warriors 25-6, 25-14, 25-19 on a sweltering night at Radford’s James Alegre Gymnasium, but they weren’t just dominant in a match that took just 70 minutes to complete. They were at a different level, using multiple-attack sets, particularly in the opening set. “We played them twice in […]

Shea Suzumoto’s defense sparks Punahou over Castle in state tourney

By Paul Honda on April 29, 2019

Ask Rick Tune about excellence in the back row, and the names Shea Suzumoto and Davis Lau pour forth. They provide the foundation of Punahou’s defense, and that was apparent in a 25-9, 25-15, 25-19 sweep of Castle on Monday night at Hemmeter Fieldhouse. After winning seven state championships in a row, Punahou entered this year’s New City Nissan/HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Championships unseeded after finishing second in the ILH. Yet, they’ve got plenty of talent across the board. On […]

VIDEO: Coach Jordan Inafuku on ‘Iolani’s 1st ILH boys volleyball title since 2003

By Paul Honda on April 25, 2019

The ‘Iolani Raiders ended Punahou’s run of Interscholastic League of Honolulu boys volleyball championships with a 23-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 win at Hemmeter Fieldhouse. Coach Jordan Inafuku chats about his team’s resilience and the contributions of some of his standouts, including setter Shane Harimoto, outside hitters Kupono Browne and Kawika Lee, and middle Kalawai Scanlan.