Saige Ka‘aha‘aina-Torres had 10 kills, 22 assists and five aces as host No. 2 ‘Iolani outlasted No. 3 Punahou 25-15, 33-31 on Tuesday night.
A raucous home crowd, led by roughly 100 ‘Iolani students, created an electric vibe in the home gym.
“It’s hot. I’m sweating. That shows it was a competitive match. Those are the kinds of matches you remember most, having a game that was 33-31,” Raiders coach Kainoa Obrey said. “Good plays, bad plays, you remember the ride.”
Elena Oglivie added 11 kills, while middle Sasah Petticord added six kills and three blocks. Izzy Sakoda contributed five kills, mostly from the right side, in a key performance for the Raiders, who flipped their lineup and had Ka‘aha‘aina-Torres prominently in a setter role for a large portion of the match. For most of her career, she had been a hitter, but in club ball, she is a natural setter.
Kristen McDaniel added five kills and 12 assists as ‘Iolani showed its new stage of evolution after finishing the first round of ILH play at 4-2, behind Kamehameha. The Warriors beat Maryknoll in three sets to open the doubleheader at ‘Iolani, clinching the first round and an automatic state berth.
Obrey said the new look, which was unveiled at practice one day earlier, was a matter of both experimentation and necessity.
“Going through some injuries the last week and a half, we got a little bit stagnant where the ball is being set and the defenses in our league can adjust. The 6-2 opens things up for us and we’ll roll with it. We can go 6-2 or 5-1 because of the flexibility our kids have,” said Obrey, who guided the Raiders to the state title last year, their first since 2001.
Punahou, like everyone else in the gym, was stunned to see Ka‘aha‘aina-Torres at setter. By the second set, however, the Buffanblu made a very close game of it. They rallied from a 7-1 deficit to take a 17-16 lead on a block by middle Savana Greene.
The lead changed hands four more times and Punahou seemed to have control with a 31-30 lead following an ‘Iolani hitting error. However, a Punahou service error gave the Raiders the break they needed, and Oglivie finished the match with back-to-back kills.
Oglivie finished with 10 of her 11 kills in the second game.
Amalia Hilliard led Punahou (1-4) with 11 kills and added a block. Middle Isabelle Bauer finished with three kills and three of her team’s five blocks. Teana Adams-Kaonohi dished 15 assists and Mehana Ma‘a tallied six assists.
Punahou hit .280, adding one ace and three service errors.
‘Iolani hit .360 with five aces, all by Ka‘aha‘aina-Torres, and five service errors. Each team had five blocks.