Football isn’t the only sport Kahuku is excelling at.
The Red Raiders’ girls volleyball team looks like a legitimate contender for a state championship this season as evidenced by a 25-23, 21-25, 25-22 victory over preseason-No. 1 Kamehameha on Saturday at the Kamehameha Invitational.
Voters took notice of the victory and awarded Kahuku 13 of 17 first-place votes to claim the No. 1 ranking in this week’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser girls volleyball rankings.
Kamehameha, which received the other four first-palce votes, dropped to No. 2, ahead of No. 3 Punahou, which received one more vote than No. 4 ‘Iolani.
Le Jardin remained at No. 5 with Maryknoll entering the rankings at No. 6, followed by Hawaii Baptist and Moanalua.
Kalaheo was the other team to debut in the rankings this week, checking in at No. 9 ahead of No. 10 Kapolei.
Mililani, Farrington, Mid-Pacific, King Kekaulike, Waiakea, Konawaena and Hilo also received votes.
Kamehameha and Punahou have combined to win the last 13 state titles with Kahuku the last OIA team to do it in 2002 under coach Mona Ah-Hoy. Current coach Mounia Tachibana has 10 returnees from last seasons squad that lost to ‘Iolani in the state semifinals. She said a big part of the win over Kamehameha was how her team handled adversity during a match.
“Down two points, they came firing back. That is what we really want to work on, because last year we kind of were struggling with that,” Tachibana told the Star-Advertiser’s Nick Abramo. “I think the girls did very well just mentally challenging themselves. Trying to get that perfect pass, getting that hit, and it didn’t work out physically as well as it could have, but I think the girls did very well, fighting, fighting, fighting for every single point.”
There were 10 ties and four lead changes in the deciding set won by the Red Raiders.
Carey Williams pounded 13 kills for Kahuku and middle blocker Phoebe Grace added nine kills and two blocks.
|Updated: Oct. 31|