Punahou impressive

Thank goodness for dads.

Tai Manu-Olevao can say that out loud. After forgetting her game jersey, her dad, Sione, went to Kahuku to retrieve it and bring it to the Ann Kang Invitational Girls Volleyball Tournament at ‘Iolani School.

That’s where Manu-Olevao pounded 14 kills to lead Punahou in a 25-12, 25-17 sweep of Molokai in opening-round pool play.


“She was coming at us hard,” Molokai coach Matthew Helm said. “She was going after our right-side block.”

The format, which changed to best-of-3 this year, had Punahou unbeaten after narrowly beating Mater Dei (Calif.) in a late match.

Tai’s father not only made the trip to the North Shore; he had just arrived from Hilo, where Tai grew up. The 6-foot sophomore now lives in Kahuku with her mom so she can attend Punahou.

Without her jersey, Manu-Olevao missed her team’s first match against Kaiser.

“That was killing me. I really wanted to play,” she said. “I was pumped up.”

Dad came through, however.

“He was giving me the silent treatment,” she said. “I’ll make it up to him, hopefully, by killing the rest of the teams, like the California team we’re going to play.”

She was springy and fresh against Molokai, which is possibly the favorite to win the Maui Interscholastic League’s Division II title.

Manu-Olevao had plenty of help. Setters Shannan McCready (nine assists) and Malia Patterson (10 assists) were nearly flawless, and Kat Brooks led a hustling defense for coach Jim Iams.

The Buffanblu hit .370 for the match and added six aces, including four by Brigitte Russo, a 6-foot- middle blocker. They had just three service errors and also had three blocks.

Kalei Adolpho led Molokai with six kills and Kailana Ritte-Camara added four. The Farmers hit .171.

Punahou dominated the opening set, zooming to a 12-4 lead en route to an easy win.

“We had to put bigger people outside. We were getting killed outside,” Helm said of moving Adolpho and Kalei Vaivai from the middle to the edge. “We started relaxing and getting aggressive.”

Molokai settled down in the second game and was within 7-6 after a kill by Ritte-Camara. Punahou opened up a 12-7 lead with a couple of kills by outside hitter Juliana Behrens (four kills).

Buffanblu mistakes helped Molokai tie the game, but a 9-0 blitz by Punahou — including three aces by Russo — turned it into a 22-13 game and the Farmers couldn’t come back.

The change in format seemed to please coaches.

“It’s definitely better for the kids,” Helm said. “To have the opportunity to go a third game.”

The Molokai girls volleyball team shares a group hug with Keith, Bonnie and Christopher Amemiya. The Amemiyas donated $15,000 to Molokai's athletic department to help with severe budget cuts. Molokai has the highest travel budget in the state, an expense of more than $50,000 annually. The Farmers are playing in the Ann Kang Invitational Tournament this week.
The Molokai girls volleyball team shares a group hug with Keith, Bonny and Christopher Amemiya. The Amemiyas donated $15,000 to Molokai's athletic department to help with severe budget cuts. Molokai has the highest travel budget in the state, an expense of more than $50,000 annually. The Farmers are playing in the Ann Kang Invitational Tournament this week, and brought venison, opihi and sweet bread to the Amemiyas. "With all of the donations the Amemiyas have given us, we can never repay it," Molokai coach Matthew Helm said. "We are just happy to support them and show our thanks this way."

Ann Kang Invitational Girls Volleyball Tournament

Iolani School

Wednesday’s results

Pool Play (best-of-3 format)

Redondo Union def. Word of Life 25-21, 25-16

Edison def. Mid-Pacific 25-16, 25-13

Kahuku def. Iolani B 25-14, 25-13

Iolani def. Farrington 25-15, 25-9


Redondo Union def. Iolani B 25-12, 25-9

Edison def. Farrington 21-25, 25-11, 15-12

Kahuku def. Word of Life 25-22, 27-25

Iolani def. Mid-Pacific 25-14, 25-19

Word of Life def. Iolani B 26-24, 25-15

Mid-Pacific def. Farrington 18-25, 25-8, 16-14

Redondo Union def. Kahuku 25-21, 25-15

Edison def. Iolani 25-22, 27-25

Mater Dei def. Molokai 25-18, 25-16

Moanalua def. Van Nuys 25-14, 25-16

Punahou def. Kaiser 25-10, 25-13

Hawaii Baptist def. Maryknoll 21-25, 25-21, 15-11

Mater Dei def. Kaiser 25-14, 25-17

Maryknoll def. Van Nuys 25-21, 25-9

Punahou def. Molokai 25-12, 25-17

Hawaii Baptist def. Moanalua, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12

Kaiser def. Molokai, 27-25, 27-26

Moanalua def. Maryknoll 25-20, 21-25, 15-10

Punahou def. Mater Dei 22-25, 25-18, 15-11

Hawaii Baptist def. Van Nuys 25-16, 25-15

OIA

Varsity
Castle def. Nanakuli 25-10, 25-13
Kaimuki def. Anuenue 25-11, 25-16

Waipahu def. Waialua 27-26, 25-19

JV
Castle def. Nanakuli 25-10, 25-17
Kaimuki def. Anuenue 25-16, 25-21

Waialua def. Waipahu 25-19, 25-19

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