Kamehameha struck first.
Will it be Punahou’s turn?
You can find out at noon on Saturday at Kekuhaupio Gym on the Warriors’ Kapalama campus.
Top-ranked Kamehameha and No. 2 Punahou meet for the second time this season in ILH girls volleyball.
On Sept. 25, Tiyana Hallums had 12 kills for Kamehameha, mostly on sets by Kamalani Akeo, to lead the Warriors to a 24-26, 26-24, 25-21 comeback victory over the Buffanblu. The Warriors trailed 17-12 and were in danger of being swept before clawing back.
This match comes highly recommended for sports fans who do not usually watch volleyball. When these two teams play, the intensity is always high and most of the time, there is a dramatic finish.
But, even more striking is the quality of the volleyball. These players, many of whom play club year-round, are talented, and many have accepted scholarships to colleges for next season.
Historically, these two programs are the best the state has to offer, and they’ve played each other in the state final every year since 2003.
Of course, there’s no guarantee both Kamehameha and Punahou will get to the championship match this season. A host of other teams are trying to unseat them, including No. 4 Moanalua and No. 3 ‘Iolani, who are likely to switch spots in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Top 10 this week after Na Menehune’s victory over the Raiders in a benefit match last week.
If you miss Saturday’s ILH match, you can catch the teams again on Oct. 18 at Punahou’s Hemmeter Fieldhouse.
At this point, having won seven of the last nine state titles under coach Chris Blake and by virtue of their win in the first meeting between the two teams this season, Kamehameha is considered the favorite to take it all once again.
But, outside hitter McKenna Granato — who had 12 kills against the Warriors on Sept. 25 — and setter Kiani Tuileta and the rest of the Buffanblu under second-year coach Tanya Fuamatu-Anderson are practicing daily for the chance to knock the champs off — for the ILH title and beyond.
Hawaii girls volleyball college commitments
OH — Tiyana Hallums (Gonzaga)
L/DS — Mia Heirakuji (Temple)
OH/Opp — Reyn Akiu (Texas Tech)
OH — McKenna Granato (Hawaii)
S — Kiani Tuileta (BYU)
DS — Reilly Killeen (Arizona)
OH — Anna Uhr (Harvard)
Note: Coaches can report a scholarship commitment by emailing Paul Honda at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nick Abramo at email@example.com.
If Hallums and Heirakuji honor their commits, they would represent the 17th and 18th colleges coach Chris Blake has sent all-state first-team talent to since his first year in 2003. Should Akiu make the Star-Advertiser Fab 15 after this season, the number would rise to 19.
Blake has watched two of his girls move along to Siena, San Jose State and Cal State Fullerton over the years and one each to Miami, Chaminade, Pepperdine, Hawaii, Pacific, Colgate, Boston College, Eastern Washington, Saint Louis, Colorado, BYU, Washington (Mo.) and Hawaii Pacific.