Down 14-8 in Game 4 — and down 2-1 in the match, Kamehameha rallied for an amazing 22-25, 25-18, 26-28, 25-23, 15-6 win over top-seeded Punahou last night in the Division I final of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships at the Stan Sheriff Center.
After finishing second to Punahou in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, Kamehameha (20-3) saw its dynasty grow with a fifth straight state title.
Kamehameha hit .245 to Punahou’s .152 (33 hitting errors). Kamehameha had the edge in digs, 102-86.
The first two sets made for an intriguing spectacle at the middle, where Punahou’s Brigitte Russo and Carina Thompson combined for nine kills in the opening game, but had only one together in the second. Iams had his outside hitters load up with ammo, and they got high sets from Patterson despite Kamehameha’s tough block.
Punahou nearly pulled off the win by feeding Behrens and Manu-Olevao non-stop on the outside, and they responded with 17 of their team’s 22 kills in the third set.
Still, Kamehameha never let up, rallying from a 24-22 deficit with kills by Jardin-Fermentez and Akana, and a roof by Jardin-Fermentez on Behrens gave the Warriors a 25-24 lead.
After a Punahou time out, Behrens bounced back with a kill to tie it at 25, but a serving error by Tayler Higgins allowed Kamehameha to regain the lead.
However, another kill by Behrens tied it at 26, and a battle at the net ended with a lift call against Renshaw. The sophomore immediately questioned the referee, charging that Punahou had attacked over the net. Kamehameha libero Chelsey Keoho drew a yellow card after spiking the ball at midcourt in frustration over the call.
With the Buffanblu ahead 27-26 — the sixth lead change of the set — Lahela Williams then delivered an ace to give Punahou a 2-1 edge in the match.
Kamehameha fought back from there.