3 close sets all go No. 1 Kamehameha’s way vs. No. 2 ‘Iolani

Kamehameha middle blocker Braelyn Akana (14) reacted after winning the first set of a girls ILH volleyball game as 'Iolani outside hitter Elena Oglivie (9) and middle blocker Cameryn Ann Nagaji (1) walked away from the net. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

What a treat girls volleyball fans got Thursday night at Kekuhaupio Gym.

No. 1 Kamehameha got past No. 2 ‘Iolani in three sets, but it was no blowout.

All pieces of the game were there for both squads: in-system offense, tight defense with spectacular digs, fine middle hitting and blocking, tenacious outside hitting, smooth setting.

And the difference was seven points — three in the first set and two each in the second and third.

Another difference between the two teams is “one” — as in the ranking in the USA Today Super 25. The Warriors (6-0) and Raiders are Nos. 10 and 11.

“It shows what kind of volleyball we have in Hawaii,” Kamehameha coach Chris Blake said of the national honor. “It’s a great feeling to know we’re being recognized along with some of the best volleyball programs in the nation.”

Thursday’s match ended up a 25-22, 25-23, 28-26 victory for the home team. It went like this:

>> The first set was a coin toss all the way to end, with 12 ties and six lead changes.

>> The second set was ‘Iolani’s to win before a Warriors comeback changed the outcome. In this one, there were four ties and just one lead change.

>> The third set was Kamehameha’s to win before a spirited ‘Iolani rally in which the Raiders took a late lead before losing it. The Raiders were down 21-16, but clawed back for ties at 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26 — along with leads at 22-21, 23-22, and 26-25. There were four lead changes in the set, all after 21-21.

“Our team did a great job coming back and executing and staying with every point,” ‘Iolani setter Kristen McDaniel said.

Added Warriors setter Lexis Akeo: “Both teams played hard, with everyone going after all the balls and many long rallies. It was hard to put the ball away for both sides. We took a deep breath to calm ourselves (late in the third set), focused on staying together and working together to get the next point.”

Overall, including preseason, Kamehameha is 26-1 and ‘Iolani is 18-3. The Warriors also beat the Raiders — 25-22, 20-25, 25-19 — on Sept. 8. They play again for the final time in the regular season on Sept. 29 at ‘Iolani.

The Raiders, who won the Division I state title in 2016, are trying for their first ILH crown since 2015.

Defending D-I state champion Kamehameha is going for its third league championship in a row. The Warriors, who own 21 state titles, haven’t won two in a row since 2009 and 2010 (which finished off a string of six straight).

‘Iolani coach Kainoa Obrey did not want to comment after the match.


  1. BangkokJoe September 21, 2018 4:16 am

    RECOGNITION…..Means more opportunity for scholarships for all these young ladies in Hawaii. Well done to both teams on their strong showing overseas.

  2. Steven September 21, 2018 5:41 am

    Very entertaining match to watch! Ms. Ogilvie is amazing. Playing her must be like facing Mariano Rivera. You know exactly what he is going to throw, and yet you cannot touch it. Similarly, you know that Ms. McDaniel is going to go time and time again, back to her, and yet she still finds success. Take away the few errors she had, and the outcome may have been different. The reality is, Kamehameha just has to much fire power, and their bench is too deep. If one player is struggling, they can immediately go to another.

  3. volleyball mom September 21, 2018 7:54 am

    That is a terrible photo – for all the girls in it. Bad choice!

  4. imua808 September 21, 2018 9:29 am

    After last night’s match, Kamehameha should run the table. It’s not always about the tallest or biggest. But it’s about stamina and lots of heart. Imua.

  5. ??? September 21, 2018 12:20 pm

    @ Volleyball mom
    That’s a great photo! “Heat of the moment with both Joy & Pain” that’s what sports & life is about.

  6. Falcon Future September 21, 2018 2:25 pm

    I think this is a great photo as well. If a picture says a thousand words, this one tells the story right there. Only thing to make it better is if the angle was wider to show more girls in the picture. I can see another Kamehameha girl celebrating, but only half her face is showing.

  7. 88 September 23, 2018 7:24 pm

    AWESOME PHOTO. Stop crying volleyball mom! Must be an Iolani parent since they lost.

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