ILH Girls Volleyball
Second ranked Iolani sweeps past previously unbeaten Punahou


Tue, Sep 13, 2022 @ Iolani [ 6:00 pm ]

FINAL  1   2   3   4   5      
PUN (4-4) 26 15 22 - - 0
IOL (7-1) 28 25 25 - - 3

Its been quite a three-game stretch for Senna Roberts-Navarro and the Iolani Raiders.

After opening the season with a four set defeat to Punahou exactly one week ago, Iolani rebounded with a four set win at Kamehameha four days later and followed that up with a signature win at home over the Buffanblu, 28-26, 25-15, 25-22.

"This one was super big for us, it just showed that we can do anything that we put our minds to and I thought it just showed how well we can mesh as a team," said Roberts-Navarro.

Playing super big certainly describes Senna's play the last two matches. After a 20 kill afternoon against the Warriors, she backed that up by amassing another 23 kills in the win over Punahou to give her a two-game average of six per set.

Coupled with the play of Brooke Naniseni, who herself put down 15 kills in the match, the steady play at setter by Maya Imoto-Eakin (41 assists) and a front line that came up with nine total blocks (three assisted each by Mari Lawton and Naniseni) and it was an all-around team effort for sure.

"Today, we just executed our game plan at a very high percentage which helped us be successful," Roberts-Navarro remarked.

Set one was a nail biter, with the teams trading leads throughout, but with the score knotted at 26-all it was Iolani that strung together momentum when needed most, getting a backrow kill by Brooke Naniseni to get to set point, and putting the set to bed on the next point, keeping the ball alive after a big swing in the middle by Punahou and converted a one touch into a kill by Roberts-Navarro on a beautiful bump set by Tessa Onaga.

Taking the first set put an already raucous crowd, specifically the student section for Iolani, into a frenzy.

"It was really awesome to have Raider Nation out there with all of our families and friends as well cheering us on," said Roberts-Navarro. "Sometimes there's a lot of pressure but at the same time, I think that it is good for us to go under all that pressure."

Any pressure that the Raiders may have been feeling certainly didn't manifest in their play, as the home team found the going seemingly much easier in the second, breaking away in the back half of the set to take it rather easily, 25-15, with Naniseni getting the terminating point.

Set three saw the Buffanblu looking primed to force a fourth set, pushing out to a 17-15 lead at one point, but Iolani battled back, as they did all evening, tying the game up at 20-all on Eryn Hiraki's fourth kill of the evening and stretching it out to 23-20 on another Roberts-Navarro kill.

Punahou closed to within a point at 23-22 on Haumea Marumoto's twelvth kill of the night, but that would be as close as the Buffanblu would get.

An swing long by the visiting team got the Raiders to match point, and Roberts-Navarro closed out the evening with a swing off the double block that sailed out of bounds to end it.

"It felt really great to be back home and our goal that we talked about was to defend our home court and we did a very good job of doing that tonight," said Roberts-Navarro.

The Raiders will have a chance to continue their winning ways at home, but that will come seven days from today against Kamehameha. In the meantime, Iolani will shift its attention to competing at the Durango Fall Classic from Sept. 16-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Moving forward, I just want to see us get 1% every day and Vegas will have a lot of the top teams in the country there so it will be very good for us to play against more high-competition teams," said Roberts-Navarro.

Carter Uechi contributed to this report. Happy Birthday my man!

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