The Kahuku football team isn’t the only local squad looking to make a statement in Las Vegas this weekend.
The Red Raiders’ girls volleyball team, which is ranked No. 1 in the Star-Advertiser’s poll, begins play at the Durango Fall Classic on Friday. They will be joined by No. 2 Kamehameha and No. 9 Hawaii Baptist in the gathering of the top programs in the nation.
Hawaii teams have done very well in Las Vegas recently, with Iolani taking 17th last year and Kamehameha finishing in the top 10 five times since 2007 including a runner-up finish in 2013.
Kamehameha is the only Hawaii team to win the tournament, doing so in 1999. In the 20 years of the affair, California schools have won it 15 times, followed by Kentucky four times and Hawaii once. Assumption of Louisville, Kentucky, has won it the past two years and is back again this year.
Five of the top 10 teams in the USA Today’s rankings are in the field this year, led by No. 2 Fayetteville (Ark.), No. 5 Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville), No. 7 Assumption (Louisville), No. 8 Pleasant Grove (Utah), and No. 10 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, Calif.).
Hawaii doesn’t have any teams ranked in the USA Today Super 25. Hawaii Baptist begins play at the Green Valley site with Kahuku and Kamehameha is at Coronado.
The Red Raiders left for Las Vegas earlier this week and started the trip defeating three-time defending Nevada state champion Coronado on Wednesday in straight sets, 25-10, 25-15, 25-16.