Punahou punches ticket to volleyball state tournament

Punahou outside hitter Madisyn Beirne hits past the block of Kamehameha outside hitter Keonilei Akana in the first set against Kamehameha earlier this year. Photo by Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser

The Punahou girls volleyball team will return to the state tournament after an eternity away by Buffanblu standards.

A 25-14, 26-24, 25-18 sweep of Mid-Pacific on Tuesday coupled with No. 3 ‘Iolani’s 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 sweep of No. 2 Kamehameha clinched Punahou’s first berth in the state tournament since 2014.

The five years between appearances at states is the longest drought for the school since it missed the dance from 1982-85. The Buffanblu won it all in 2014 and were a mainstay in the state final before that.

Two of the ILH’s three state berths are clinched with No. 1 Punahou and No. 7 Le Jardin both winning their quadrant. They will play Saturday with the winner advancing to play the tournament champion for the overall ILH title.

Either Kamehameha or defending champion ‘Iolani will miss states this year. The Warriors have quite a streak to uphold as they have been in the tournament in each of the last 17 years. Only Kahuku, which swept Kaiser on Tuesday, owns a longer current run advancing to the last 18 state tournaments. Moanalua matches Kamehameha with a 17-year streak.

‘Iolani will host Sacred Hearts to open the ILH tournament on Saturday while Kamehameha has a bye and will play the winner of Hawaii Baptist and Mid-Pacific on Monday. A possible Raiders-Warriors showdown for the third state berth would take place Tuesday if they both advance through.

>> Click here for ILH tournament schedule


  1. Kalia McGee October 2, 2019 2:25 pm

    this quadrant thing is BS, why have the top three schools in one quadrant and all the newcomers/weaker teams in the other quadrant? It’s like football all over again, where we aren’t sending our three best teams to States this year. Le Jardin? seriously? what was their record against the other quadrant.

    in the future, they should put the second best team in the ILH in the other quadrant, so that way we will get the top three teams to represent our ILH conference in the State tournament. That way the top team will win the dominant quadrant, the second best team will win the other quadrant, and the third best team will play in the ILH tournament to get into states. How can we send our #1, #2, and #4 team into states? Leaving out #3? The state should represent the best teams that the state has to offer, not a newcomer, unless it’s deserved. ahhhh……No make sense!!!

  2. Mahatma Gandhi October 3, 2019 5:09 pm

    Billy, you could have done more than just mention Kamehameha has made the state tournament the last 17 years. I think they have also been in the state championship final game for almost the same number of years, which is unbelievable. And they won most of those contests. Imua Kamehameha!

  3. The Truth Shall Set You Free October 3, 2019 5:16 pm

    It is what it is because the ILH had to pretend that 4 D2 programs were D1 teams in order to get a 3rd State tourney slot. The one guaranteed slot to a lesser team was the breadcrumb compromise for forcing these D2 teams to move up and create a bogus D1 league in order to get more teams in the tournament. Class dismissed.

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