Every year at this time, Kamehameha-Hawaii shows up for the Division I boys volleyball state tournament.
And the Warriors’ usual modus operandi is to make it far but not win the championship.
Coach Guy Enriques was clear about what was needed to get past the remaining squads in their way.
“We need to play a flawless match,” he said after a three-set sweep of Waipahu in the quarterfinals Thursday at Radford.
He added that if any of his teams of the last decade had the ability to do it, this is the one.
The team – led by hitters Addision Enriques and Avery Enriques (the coach’s twin sons), middle Nalu Kahapea and setter Jai Makuakane – is 15-0 and the second seed after winning the Big Island Interscholastic Federation title.
Three teams stand in Kamehameha-Hawaii’s way, including ‘Iolani (14-4), a quarterfinal winner over Mililani on Thursday, in the semifinals tonight. The two teams on the other side of the bracket are league rival Waiakea (13-3), which beat Maui Interscholastic League champion Kamehameha-Maui in five sets Thursday, and five-time reigning D-I state champion Punahou (17-0).
That latter team, Punahou, has been a thorn in the side of the Warriors for a long, long time. In the last nine seasons, the Buffanblu have eliminated Kamehameha-Hawaii from the state tournament six times, including four times in the final.
That would be enough to give any of the Warriors’ coaches, players and fans — anyone from the Big Island for that matter — a headache.
The Big Isle champs have now made it at least as far as the semifinals in seven of the last 10 years.
Here is the rundown of Kamehameha-Hawaii’s last nine years at the D-I states:
>> 2016: Seeded No. 2 and lost to Moanalua in the semifinals.
>> 2015: Seeded No. 2 and lost to Punahou in the final.
>> 2014: Seeded No. 3 and lost to Punahou in the final.
>> 2013: Unseeded and lost to Punahou in the quarterfinals.
>> 2012: Seeded No. 3 and lost to Punahou in the final.
>> 2011: Unseeded and lost to Punahou in the semifinals.
>> 2010: Seeded No. 3 and lost to ‘Iolani in the quarterfinals.
>> 2009: Unseeded and lost to Punahou in the semifinals.
>> 2008: Seeded No. 2 and lost to Kamehameha in the quarterfinals.