On this date in 2012, Punahou lost a rare boys volleyball match at the Clash of the Titans, but it didn’t seem to bother all-world Larry Tuileta.
No. 4 Mira Costa upset the No. 2-ranked Buffanblu 25-19, 15-25, 25-14, 25-17, and Tuileta said that if he had to lose to anyone it was good that it was Mira Costa because the visitors were so good.
Two years later, Tuileta was at USC with two Mira Costa stars who teammed up to stop him in Riley Mallon and Brooks Varni. The match was a star-studded affair with Punahou’s Kupono Fey (UH), Sean Gruebner (UCLA) and Micah Ma’a (UCLA) also on the floor.
The Mustangs went on to win the CIF while Punahou rolled to the state title as usual. Mira Costa coach Mike Ninnis pointed to the trip as proof that his group should be ranked No. 1 in the nation at the end of the year. Wheaton Warrenville South (Ill.) evnetually earned the honor with a 42-0 record.
“Quite honestly, if you really want to be considered the No. 1 team in the nation you have to come out to California and play the best teams in the nation,” Innis said. “We went to Hawaii and faced Punahou and Hawaii Baptist and it’s a playoff atmosphere there.”
The Buffanblu beat Mira Costa in the Clash the following year.