Setters hold the key to state volleyball final

Kamehameha is looking to repeat as state champ on Saturday night. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser
Kamehameha is looking to repeat as state champ on Saturday night. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser

Kamehameha’s Lexis Akeo is a sophomore with state championship credentials.

‘Iolani’s Ana Oglivie is a senior in her first season as a varsity setter.

Both kept their teams on track this week to set up a rematch of last year’s Division I state tournament final.

Akeo earned setting responsibilities as a freshman and helped pilot Kamehameha to a five-set victory over ‘Iolani in last year’s title match. Oglivie was on the other side of the net that night as the Raiders’ libero and took over running the ‘Iolani attack this season. Their leadership on Friday helped set up a second straight meeting for the state crown.

Akeo finished with 26 assists and four kills in four attempts in second-seeded Kamehameha’s 25-10, 25-16, 25-18 sweep of King Kekaulike in Friday’s first Division I semifinal at McKinley.

Oglivie followed with 51 assists to help ‘Iolani knock off top-seeded Kahuku 25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 25-18 and join Kamehameha in Saturday’s 7 p.m. title match at Blaisdell Arena.

Kamehameha hit .330 as a team while handing King Kekaulike its first loss of the season. Sophomore middle blocker Braelyn Akana led the Warriors with nine kills in 14 swings, junior Kili Robins finished with eight kills and senior Kayla Afoa posted seven kills, three aces and a team-high 18 digs.

“The support of everybody contributing is really important to us,” said Kamehameha coach Chris Blake, who will go after his state record ninth title on Saturday. “(Akeo) knows she can go out and perform because the team got her back.”

Akeo returns to the final bolstered by the experience of last year’s title match when she distributed 42 assists as the Warriors held off ‘Iolani’s comeback from a two-set deficit to capture the program’s 20th title.

“My team helped me, especially this year, to get better and we’ve totally improved since last year,” Akeo said.

“I had a little bit of nerves (in last year’s final) but my team helped me pull though and helped me play my best for them.”

Oglivie had a match-high 30 digs as ‘Iolani’s libero while Bailey Choy, the eventual state player of the year, ran the Raiders’ offense last year.

With Choy now setting for Utah, Oglivie stepped into the role and has calmly led the Raiders back to the final and a rematch with Kamehameha.

“She stepped up big for us all year long,” ‘Iolani coach Kainoa Obrey said. “Bailey’s tough to replace, she’s a really good player and Ana’s just doing a really great job not only setting but being a leader for this team and keeping our kids focused and on track.”

Junior Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres led ‘Iolani with 16 kills against Kamehameha last year and pounded 25 on Friday to help give the Raiders another shot at the Warriors.

Freshman Elena Oglivie, Ana’s sister, also posted 25 kills in the win over the Red Raiders and is hitting .330 in the state tournament with 55 kills in three matches.

“She’s very confident in her swing and if she’s not I’ll be here to keep her confidence up,” Ana Oglivie said, “She knows what to do with each set and she finds the shots for the right moment, which is huge for being a freshman.”


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