HHSAA Girls Volleyball
No. 1 Kamehameha defeats No. 2 Punahou for 24th state championship


Fri, Nov 10, 2023 @ BYU-Hawaii [ 7:00 pm ]

FINAL  1   2   3   4   5      
PUN (16-5) 23 25 22 22 - 1
KSK (17-1) 25 19 25 25 - 3
Kill: K. Uluave (PUN) 18 kills
Ast: E. Lilo (KSK) 43 ast

LAIE — Reunited and it feels so good. 

After a one-year absence from the postseason, the Kamehameha Warriors are back on top as queens of prep volleyball in the 50th state. 

Adrianna Arquette and Kalaweloilehua Chock combined for 33 kills and 23 digs and Emma Lilo recorded 43 assists and 10 digs to lead Kamehameha to a four-set win over rival Punahou Friday night in the title match of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Division I State Championships. The set scores were 25-23, 19-25, 25-22 and 25-22. 

A crowd of more than 2,500 fans at the George Q. Cannon Activities Center on the campus of BYU-Hawaii saw the top-seeded Warriors (17-1) notch their fifth win over the Buffanblu (16-5) in six tries this fall. 

"The idea for us is not taking anything for granted and knowing that our opponents are always going to play the best against us, just like today," Kamehameha coach Chris Blake said. 

After the teams split the first two sets, the Warriors surged ahead late in set 3 with a 5-1 run that turned a 19-18 deficit into a 23-20 lead. They closed out the set with back-to-back kills from Tia Kapihe and Arquette a few points later to close out the set. 

The fourth set was tied at 10 when Kamehameha separated with an 8-1 run that was spurred by a dump shot from Lilo, followed by a Chock kill from the left side. Kapihe and Arquette teamed for a double-block to give their team an 18-11 cushion. This time, however, Punahou stormed back with an 8-0 run to inch ahead, 19-18. 

In the midst of the Buffanblu run, Blake called a timeout to help his group reset. 

"Once we called the timeout we really talked together as a team, reset, talked about why we're here, tried to stay connected and tried to push through," Lilo said. 

A couple of Punahou attack errors were sandwiched around a were sandwiched around a Kamehameha block by Arquette and Sydney Cazimero to force a Buffanblu timeout. After a double-contact violation called on Lilo, Punahou was whistled for a net violation and then put an attack into the net to give the Warriors a 23-20 lead. 

"Right after that timeout when we knew they were going to come firing back, we knew we had to lock in on our first touch and we got that done and we had to keep on pushing through and that's how we got to the end of that fourth set," Chock said. 

The Buffanblu inched closer with a kill from Lulu Uluave, followed by a Reese Teves ace to make it a one-point game, but Kamanao Goldstein gave her team some breathing room when she finished off a long rally that featured several spectacular defensive plays on both sides of the net. 

"When they made against us in game four, tied it up, went ahead, we found a way to be settled and then take care of business right there in the end — that rally for 24 was one of the best plays that I've been a part of — but seeing and having those things happen with this and for our team to come out on top like that, I'm very proud of our team," Blake said. 

Chock then finished off the match with a kill from the left side. Her attack landed long and out, but there was ruled to be a touch at the net to ignite the Warriors' celebration. 

"When Kamanao put that away, I was like, ‘Yes, we're taking it down right here and when I went to go sub in for Kalei Watson, who's an outstanding player, I knew that we had to put it away somehow and so just through that rally, I was like, ‘Please, I want to get this done. I want to get that trophy' and I just had that mentality the whole time on that point," Chock said. 

Blake credited the resiliency of his bunch and the leadership of fourth-year varsity players Kalei Watson, Kapihe and Arquette. 

New City Nissan/HHSAA Division I Girls Volleyball State Championships All-Tournament Team

Maela Honma, Kamehameha-Hawaii
Tia Kapihe, Kamehameha
Haumea Marumoto, Punahou
Emma Lilo, Kamehameha
Reese Teves, Punahou
Lulu Uluave, Punahou
Most Outstanding Player: Adrianna Arquette, Kamehameha

"Finding a way to be our best at end game is key for us and I'm proud of our girls for their execution and doing the right things," Blake said. 

He added, "It's been a long twelve months leading up to our season. There's been a lot of reflection, both as a staff and as a program, and things have to evolve and we're proud of the way that the girls were there, we had a great group of leaders that helped to take us to where it was, the seniors that have been there — we have Adri, Tia and Kalei that have been with us since COVID."

Arquette, who signed with the University of Hawaii just a few days prior, amassed 17 kills and 18 digs, while Chock, a sophomore outside hitter, put down 16 kills and took 33 swings. Chock committed only three error attack errors to finish with a .394 hitting percentage. Ashli Lum contributed 16 digs for Kamehameha. 

Lulu Uluave amassed 18 kills on 63 swings, both match-high marks, and also led Punahou defensively with 17 digs. Middle Evelyn Kilisi had nine kills and hit.444. Indigo Clarke came off the bench and also finished a kill short of double digits, while Kealohalani Cox posted seven kills and libero Reese Teves chipped in with 16 digs and two aces. Setter Rella Binney dished out 42 assists and had 12 digs and two aces in the loss. 

Punahou hit just .105 for the match, while Kamehameha hit .209. 

"I thought we did a great job. Kamehameha just came out fighting and it was a well-deserved win, but I'm so proud of the ladies. We lost to a very good team; Kamehameha is a very good team, (but) we never gave up," Ahuna said. "

The Buffanblu finished second behind the Warriors in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.

Punahou won the first match between the teams back on Sept. 8. Since then, however, Kamehameha has reeled off 15 consecutive wins — five of them coming at the expense of the Buffanblu — to close out the year. 

"Our first match (against Punahou) definitely pushed us and drove us to practice hard and be better as a team and that five-set game really, it gave us the motivation and hunger to be better and bounce back," Lilo said. 

Kamehameha has captured a record 24 state championships; Its last prior to Friday was in 2021, when it swept Punahou in straight sets in the title match. 

The Warriors appeared in 18 consecutive state finals, from 2003 to 2021, before they missed out on the state tournament altogether a year ago. 

The Buffanblu were seeking their 10th state crown and first since 2014. 

Arquette was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Kapihe and Lilo. Punahou was represented by Uluave, Teves and Haumea Marumoto. Kamehameha-Hawaii's Maela Honma rounded out the All-Tournament Team. 

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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