Kamehameha-Hawaii keeps climbing the ladder one rung at a time.
The Warriors started the season at No. 7 and steadily knocked off teams until reaching No. 4 in the latest Star-Advertiser volleyball poll. ‘Iolani was Kamehameha-Hawaii’s latest victim, moving the Raiders down to No. 5.
‘Iolani was coming off its best match of the year, a close loss to No. 2 Punahou. Here is the poll, the complete list can be found in Tuesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
1. Kamehameha, 2. Punahou, 3. Moanalua, 4. Kamehameha-Hawaii, 5. Iolani, 6. Konawaena, 7. Kahuku, 8. Seabury Hall, 9. Mililani, 10. Hawaii Baptist.
The Raiders were probably punished for their four losses this season, all of them to the top two teams in the state. No team other than Punahou, which lost to No. 1 Kamehameha twice, has more than one loss.
One huge thing Kamehameha-Hawaii has over ‘Iolani is it knows it is going dancing when the state tournament begins at the end of the month. The Warriors are already in, while the Raiders will have to find their way past Punahou to join the party. Defending state champion Kamehameha is already in.
That marks 13 straight years the Warriors from Kapalama have been in the state tournament, not staying home since the 2001 season. Kamehameha has won seven state titles during that stretch.
Kamehameha schools has had three teams in the tournaments every year for the past decade with Kamehameha-Hawaii marking its 11th straight at the end of the month and Kamehameha-Maui sitting on 11 in a row.
But those teams are looking up at Kahuku, which has not missed a tournament since 2000 and will have a chance to punch its ticket for the 14th straight time on Thursday at Mililani when it takes on either Kapolei or Kaiser.
The Red Raiders have been around No. 7 in the poll all season, but historically rises when the OIA playoffs begin. One thing that might hold them back is the loss of outside hitter Carey Williams to a tweaked ankle. Williams hurt it against Moanalua and hopes to be back in time for the state tournament should Kahuku make it there.
Moanalua is still a solid No. 3 in the poll, and can match Kamehameha’s state tournament appearance streak with a win on Thursday against either Leilehua or Castle.