Unseeded Iolani defeated two of the top teams in the state on back-to-back nights to capture its first state since 2001 at the Blaisdell Arena Saturday night.
One day after defeating top-seeded Kahuku in the semifinals of the New City Nissan/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Girls Volleyball Championships, the Raiders bested defending Division I state champion Kamehameha in four sets for their second state crown in school history.
The first three sets were a back-and-forth contest, but the Raiders were able to pull away in the final set for a 26-24, 21-25, 25-18, 25-14 in a rematch of last year's title game, which was also the 10th game in two years between the two teams.
Senior setter Ana Oglivie, who was the team's libero a season ago, was ecstatic after the match.
"This really hit home for me," said Oglivie, who finished with 49 assists and 15 digs. "There were just moments where everything seemed really hard, but it's so worth it now."
Oglivie added that the win over the Red Raiders gave them momentum against the Warriors.
"Because of that win yesterday, we just realized that if we play the way that we were practicing, play the way that we play, I think we should be fine," she said.
The Raiders got big performances out of outside hitters Elena Oglivie (23 kills, 22 digs) and Saige Kaahaaina-Torres as usual, but it was the contributions of their secondary hitters that pushed them over the hump.
Middles Sasha Petticord and Halia Hogan combined on seven total blocks while putting down five kills each. Right side hitter Kristen McDaniel also had two kills and was in on two blocks.
"Just to have our whole team contribute is huge, because I know our outside hitters have a lot of pressure," said Oglivie. "For everyone else to contribute and feel confident in themselves was big. Our middles worked so hard, for them to make (those) points means everything and makes them work even harder."
Back-to-back kills by Hogan gave Iolani a 10-7 lead in the fourth set and forced Kamehameha to burn a timeout. The Warriors regained the serve on the next point, but the Raiders were able to go on a 4-0 run with Sammie Worley at the service line to force another Kamehameha timeout.
At that point, the electricity in the arena started to fuel the Raiders and the rest of the Iolani faithful. Feeding the most off of it was Oglivie's freshman sister Elena, who who had four kills in a 8-4 swing to give Iolani a commanding 22-12 advantage.
"They were making us work hard," the younger Oglivie said of the Iolani fans. "They were pushing us and giving us confidence and it just really helps to have all of that (support) back there."
From there the Raiders were able to get the necessary points needed to complete the set and clinch the title.
"Wow, our kids played really well," said Iolani coach Kainoa Obrey. "We had a game plan, they stuck to it and they played it. They played free, they played for each other, they stuck together and we're happy where we're at. It's awesome."
Kaahaaina-Torres, a junior, echoed her coach's sentiments.
"Even though people called us the underdogs, we paid no attention to it. I think we did a really good job of playing together and I'm just so proud of everybody for sticking together."
Kamehameha coach Chris Blake praised Obrey and his staff after the match.
"What Iolani did was they brought a lot of hunger, a lot of fire and they did a lot of great things," he said. "Iolani brought their match today, we were unable to match that. Hats off to them. Well deserved win for them."
The Warriors saw three players finish with double-digit kills. Kayla Afoa had 18 kills, Kili Robins chipped 11 and Braelyn Akana added 10 more. Senior libero Kyra Hanawahine had a match-high 23 digs to lead the Kamehameha defense.
Iolani outhit Kamehameha .235 to .126. The Warriors also committed ten more attack errors, 30 to 20, two of which led to two of the Raiders' final three points.
The Raiders also outdug the Warriors, 88 to 78, and had more blocks, 10 to 6 and 1/2.
DIVISION I All-Tournament Team:
Saige Kaahaaina-Torres, Iolani
Chandler Cowell, King Kekaulike
Phoebe Grace, Kahuku
Kayla Afoa, Kamehameha
Lexis Akeo, Kamehameha
Ana Oglivie, Iolani
Kyra Hanawahine, Kamehameha
Most Outstanding Player: Elena Oglivie, Iolani
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