Kahuku will return to its 15th straight state tournament.
“I’m proud of our team and what we accomplished tonight,” said Kahuku’s Jasmine Niutupuivaha, who had 14 kills and four blocks in a five-set win over Kapolei in the OIA quarterfinals Thursday night at the Mililani High gym. “We tried to control what we could control. (In future matches), it will be important for us to stay disciplined and always stay positive.”
Cheyenne Te’o pounded 15 kills for the Red Raiders (11-1) and Carey Williams added 14.
Michelyn Pilila‘au was the Hurricanes’ kill leader with 13 and she also had four blocks. Teammate Seleni Bartley chipped in with 13 kills, and Jayleen Abregana tallied 12.
“We weren’t settled down (in the fifth set),” Pilila‘au said. “We were panicking a little too much, thinking we were going to lose.”
The deciding set was tied at 7-7 before the Red Raiders began to inch ahead and got up by as much as 13-10. Eventual kills by Shali Niu and Te’o finished it off.
Earlier, compared to the rest of the night, Kahuku’s first set win was a breeze. The second set was tied 13 times with four lead changes. Eight ties and three lead changes followed in the third, and the Hurricanes never trailed in the fourth.
“This is only Day 1 of the playoffs for us, but the girls are hungry for it,” Red Raiders coach Mounia Tachibana said.
Moanalua also punched its ticket to states on Thursday, running its streak to 14. Other schools with current streaks of more than a decade in the state tournament are Kamehameha (13), Kamehameha-Maui (12), Kamehameha-Hawaii (11) and Seabury Hall (10).