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Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, October 4, 2000

P R E P _ V O L L E Y B A L L

Warriors beat Punahou

By Tim Crouse
Special to the Star-Bulletin

IN a bizarre ending to a highly emotional match, the Kamehameha boys' volleyball team slipped past Punahou on a foot fault and an illegal substitution call last night to claim the Interscholastic League of Honolulu first-round title.

The Warriors rallied for a 13-15, 15-8, 16-14 win at St. Louis' McCabe Gym to secure a berth in the state tournament.

In girls' action, Kamehameha beat Iolani, 9-15, 15-5, 15-6, to advance to a meeting tomorrow with Punahou for second place in the ILH. St. Francis clinched the first- round title -- and a berth in the state tournament -- last weekend.

With game three of the boys' match tied at 14, and Kamehameha serving after a Buffanblu timeout, Punahou's Kupono Nu'uhiwa was called for a foot fault for stepping across the center line, giving the Warriors a 15-14 lead.

Punahou tried to make a substitution -- but had already used its allotment.

The rules call for a timeout to be taken away as a penalty, but since the Buffanblu had used all their timeouts, Kamehameha was awarded a point, and the match was over.

"It's amazing that we pulled it off," said Warriors setter Donovan Roque. "We wanted it so badly.

"It's what we waited for all our volleyball careers. It's games like this that make it fun."

Punahou served for the match at 14-9, but Kamehameha's David Hoke buried a kill to keep the game going. The teams traded sideouts, with the Buffanblu wasting another match point.

Roque then served an ace and Isaac Knuebuhl registered a kill to start the Kamehameha comeback.

After a Punahou timeout, the Warriors scored three more points before the Buffanblu sided out.

"During the timeout, we told (our players) we were in our best rotation," Warriors coach Pono Maa said. "We had our biggest block and our setter was in the right back. This was the best scenario for us to make a run."

A Punahou service error gave the ball back to the Warriors, who tied the game at 14 on one of the longest rallies of the night.

"We came back from deficits like this before so we know how to focus in and just do our task and get it done," Kamehameha's Will Melemai said.

Punahou's Mike Harada led all hitters with 21 kills, and Daniel Lam added 17 more.

If a team other than Kamehameha wins the second round of the ILH, that team will battle the Warriors for the overall championship. If Kamehameha captures the second round title, Punahou will play the round two runner-up for the league's other state tournament berth.

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