ILH Boys Volleyball
Deuchar powers Punahou over Iolani


Thu, Mar 12, 2020 @ Punahou [ 6:15 pm ]

FINAL  1   2   3   4   5      
IOL (3-1) 18 24 0 - - 0
PUN (4-0) 25 26 0 - - 2
Kill: J. Deuchar (PUN) 13 kills

MAKIKI — On a day of uncertainty in the sports world, Punahou made certain to show why it is the eight-time defending state champion by taking down Interscholastic League of Honolulu foe Iolani, 25-18, 26-24, Thursday evening at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

Senior Jack Deuchar pounded out 13 kills and two aces to lead the Buffanblu.

With the game tied at 11 in the first set, Deuchar scored the next four points to give Punahou the momentum to carry out the lead the rest of the way.

"It made us a lot more comfortable having that two-point lead," Deuchar said. "We could play a lot more free and we weren't so tight, and that really helped us in the end. We were able to build on it throughout the set."

Set No. 2 was another even affair with late ties at 19, 21, 22 and 24 points, but fellow seniors Kawai Hong and Jordan-Deshawn Hepting went up on a joust and sealed the final point for the match victory.

"After losing that lead that we had gained in the second set, there was a lot of pressure on us," Deuchar said. "[Iolani] is a really great team so you always got to be focused on the next play."

It was a rematch of last year's HHSAA Division I State Championship in which the Buffanblu defeated the Raiders, 3-1, for their eighth consecutive koa trophy and 37th overall. However, Iolani had earlier gotten the best of Punahou during the regular season to claim the ILH title and end the Buffanblu's previous 14-year reign.

While many sports leagues and associations across the world have indefinitely suspended or outright canceled athletics activity due to the spread of COVID-19, the focus for the Buffanblu was just on themselves with a cloud of uncertainty looming over the rest of the season. As such, Thursday's match was made into an impromptu Senior Night game.

"With the coronavirus going on right now, we really are unsure how our season is going to continue so we wanted to make sure we got a Senior Night, and who better than against Iolani?" Deuchar said. "Our crowd really showed up. We're really grateful for them coming out here tonight.

"I think we came into this game a little extra prepared knowing this might be our last chance playing together," Deuchar continued. "We're really looking forward to playing them more times throughout the season and hopefully we still get to do that.

» UPDATE (March 13, 2020): HHSAA announces indefinite suspension, effective Monday «

There has been no official word put out by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association nor any of the five member leagues. However, the ILH did postpone judo competition scheduled for this Friday and Saturday at Saint Louis School.

Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

Damien Memorial School earlier made the decision for hosted volleyball matches to be played "spectator-less" but many of those games are in the process of being rescheduled or relocated to other venues.

Iolani (2-1) is next scheduled to host Kamehameha (3-0) on Saturday at 4 p.m. while Punahou (4-0) will host the Warriors next Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.

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