Two-time championBy Stan Atkins
state prep semifinals
Special to the Star-Bulletin
HILO - Once again it will be the ILH against the neighbor islands in the semifinals of the HHSSA state girls' volleyball tournament this afternoon at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo.
Top-seeded Kamehameha and Punahou meet Hilo High of the Big Island and King Kekaulike of Maui, respectively. Last week's boys tournament had the same two private school teams playing Maui Interscholastic League and the Big Island Interscholastic Federation teams.
The two-time defending champion Warriors beat Farrington, 15-6, 15-10, to advance to today's first semifinal starting at 2 p.m. Kamehameha, the number-one ranked team in the nation, will face the hometown Vikings, who downed Pearl City, 15-4, 14-16, 16-14, last night.
The other bracket will have Punahou, a 16-14, 15-4, winner over Kauai champion Waimea, pitted against Kekaulike, which held off a tall Aiea team, 15-10, 15-10. The third-place game and championship will be played later tonight.
The Warriors are seeking their 11th state title overall.
"I've had most of these girls since they were sophomores," said veteran Kamehameha coach Dan Kitashima. "They know our system and they know what it takes to win. I have 11 seniors out of a team of 13, and six of these girls have two state championships under their belt already.
"We've come down this road many times before, we want to end it on a high note for the seniors on this team."