Here we go again: Warriors vs. Buffanblu

Sarah Lau and Kamehameha will have to beat Punahou's McKenna Rose Granato, left, and Vonica Malufau to repeat as a champion. Krystle Marcellus / Star-Advertiser
Sarah Lau and Kamehameha will have to beat Punahou’s McKenna Rose Granato, left, and Vonica Malufau to repeat as a champion. Krystle Marcellus / Star-Advertiser

Here we go again.

There is no end in sight to the annual state girls volleyball title match featuring Kamehameha and Punahou as the combatants.

The Warriors and Buffanblu play tonight for the state championship for the sixth year in a row, and Kamehameha (17-0) has won seven of the last nine titles.

“It’s a big one coming up and we feel ready,” said Kamehameha’s Tita Akiu, the Texas Tech commit who had three aces and seven digs in a three-set win over Kapolei in Friday’s semifinals at the McKinley High gym. “No matter what, we’re prepared for it.”

Head coach Chris Blake was extremely happy with his team’s win, especially the way the Warriors executed their defensive schemes.

“Everyone, every single girl who played, did their part,” he said.

That’s a good sign for Warriors fans going into the big match.

Kapolei coach Naidah Gamurot watched Punahou play during the state tourney openers on Maui last week and was highly impressed.

“They looked like they were really clicking,” Gamurot said of the Buffanblu.

But can Punahou (15-3) break through after losing to Kamehameha three times previously this season?

The Buffanblu struggled at times in the late semifinal Friday against Moanalua, clinching it in the relatively tight fourth set after dropping the third, 25-23, at McKinley.

“We still have to take care of our opportunities and not let up when we’re up,” said Punahou hitter McKenna Granato, a Hawaii commit who finished with 15 kills and four blocks against Moanalua.

“We have to trust our teammates next to each other and enjoy the last time we’ll ever be out there as a team. Kamehameha bounces back well whenever they’re down. We have to keep the pressure on them, and when we’re up, we have to take advantage of it and stay up.”


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