Punahou needs four sets to fend off Kahuku
Led by Kaia Dunford's 18 kills, 11 digs and two aces, Punahou battled past Kahuku in the opening round of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball Division I Championships.
The Buffanblu won both the first and second sets by an identical 25-19 count, then dropped the third to Kahuku by the same score, before posting a 25-21 win in the set four to take the match win.
There was not much separating the two teams in just about every statistical category, with the Buffanblu narrowly out hitting (53 to 52), out digging (57 to 55) and out blocking (16 to 14) the Red Raiders.
Savannah Taosoga put down a match-high 20 kills, Tylor Iosua 11 kills and Kalamela Liua nine for the Red Raiders in the loss. Halo-Elizabeth Yoshiki and Madisyn Beirne each added nine kills and Grace Fiaseu had eight kills and seven blocks for the Buffanblu.
Kahuku setter Keau Kamakeeaina poured in 42 assists, 11 digs and four blocks, and her counterpart Chloe Kaahanui notched 40 assists, nine digs and two blocks for Punahou. Both added two kills and an ace for good measure.
Next up for the Buffanblu is BIIF champion Kamehameha-Hawaii, in a match set for Thursday, Oct 24 at 5 p.m. at McKinley's Student Council Gymnasium.