Posted: October 1, 2012 - 10:08pm
Punahou wins ILH 1st round; clinches automatic berth
By Wes Nakama
Carly Kan spiked 12 kills and Claire Feeley added nine kills and two blocks Monday night to help Punahou sweep Kamehameha, 25-19, 25-23, for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu first round girls volleyball title.
The Buffanblu improved to 10-1 in the ILH with the victory at Kekuhaupi'o Gym and clinched the league's first automatic berth into the New City Nissan/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association State Championships set for Oct. 30-Nov. 2.
Kamehameha (9-2) had forced the special one-match, winner-take-all playoff by upsetting Punahou, 28-26, 29-27, on Friday.
"I think the big difference for us tonight was our mindset," said Kan, a 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter who finished with a match-high 12 kills. "We wanted to win on Friday, too, but Kamehameha came out strong. On Saturday, we practiced with emotion and tonight we came to play. We knew what we wanted and went after it."
Kan had three straight kills to highlight a 9-2 run early in the first set that put the Buffanblu up, 14-6. Alohi Robins-Hardy then came off the bench to notch two kills and an ace as the Warriors closed it to 20-17, but Kan and middle blocker Feeley each had two kills to help Punahou end the set with a 5-2 spurt.
Kan had eight of her 12 kills in the first set alone.
"She's a great player and she just out-physicalled us a couple times," Kamehameha coach Chris Blake said. "She's very steady and she moves the ball around well."
Kelly Matthews and Brittney Markwith each had two kills and Feeley had a kill and an ace during an 8-3 run that put the Buffanblu ahead, 12-6, in the second set. Pikake Laumauna later had two kills to spark a 5-1 run that brought the Warriors back to tie it at 20-20.
Kamehameha eventually took the lead at 23-22 on a solo block by Robins-Hardy, but Feeley tied it on an improbable tip shot off a step-out move, and the Warriors' next hit attempt went into the antennae. Feeley then ended it with a solo block.
Markwith added five kills, Matthews had four kills and Tayler Higgins and Remo Gaogao each had two kills, with Higgins running Punahou's offense through her normal array of near-perfect sets.
Pomai Recca led the Warriors with six kills and two blocks, Laumauna added four kills, two blocks and one ace and Robins-Hardy contributed with four kills, two blocks and one ace. Kea Browne had three kills and three blocks, Tiyana Hallums had three kills and Faith Ma'afala had two kills for Kamehameha.
The Warriors now must either win the second round -- which begins Tuesday -- or finish second to the Buffanblu in order to secure the ILH's second state tournament berth, with 'Iolani (6-4) also in the mix.
" 'iolani matches up well with us and Kamehameha," Punahou coach Peter Balding said. "It's not an easy road."
October 1, 2012
Carly Kan put down 12 kills for Punahou against Kamehameha. Greg Yamamoto | SL