Title contender ‘Iolani ready for ILH opener against HBA

Nearly two years ago, 'Iolani celebrated after closing out Punahou in the fourth set to win its first ILH boys volleyball championship in 16 years. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser (Apr. 23, 2019).

Game day has arrived for the ‘Iolani Raiders, one year after their 2020 season was suddenly taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Raiders were the ’19 boys volleyball champion in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu before losing in the state tournament to Punahou. The long path back leads to the ’21 league opener against Hawaii Baptist on Saturday.

Game time is 11:30 a.m. Spectators are not allowed, but the match will be streamed live.

“We’re excited and grateful to have the opportunity to learn, grow and compete in the sport we love,” Coach Jordan Inafuku said. “Our seniors have worked very hard to keep this team motivated and working throughout the COVID-impacted offseason.”

The Raiders will look to senior setter Kaina Alvarez, and senior middles Sam Faumuina and Hunter Schmidt.

“Kaina will continue to manage our offense. Sam and Hunter give us some size and athleticism at the net. More importantly, though, we will rely on their leadership to quickly push us forward on a steep learning curve,” Inafuku said.

Alvarez has signed with College of Charleston.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Punahou visits Mid-Pacific (2:30 p.m.) and Kamehameha hosts Maryknoll (11:30 a.m.)

In ILH girls volleyball, Le Jardin travels to Kamehameha (12:45 p.m.) and MPI entertains Punahou.


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