HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Punahou reigns in both Top 10 polls
The Buffanblu are a clear favorite in the boys, while the girls poll shows parity
In the world of boys volleyball, there is Goliath Punahou and The Rest of the Top 10.
The girls rankings are, by comparison, a chaotic changing of the guard with plenty of drama for all.
Punahou's homecourt win over then-No. 1 Kamehameha was a shot in the arm for the rest of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu. While Punahou, the 2004 state champion, certainly has the talent to compete at the top, Kamehameha's aura of invincibility was shattered.
The Buffanblu girls vaulted to the top spot in today's Star-Bulletin Girls Volleyball Top 10, but the panel of coaches and media were far from unanimous in their voting. Punahou collected five first-place votes, while Iolani garnered three and Kamehameha still drew two votes.
Punahou's stay at the top will be bumpy simply because of the path every team takes in the ILH. Six of the state's Top 10 hail from the private-school league.
Punahou swept through last week, including a well-earned victory over Kamehameha, to remain a unanimous No. 1 in the boys poll. Maryknoll's unbeaten run continued, convincing voters to push up the Spartans a notch to No. 2, the highest ranking ever for the team.
Kalaheo slipped to No. 4 despite wins over McKinley and Moanalua.
Iolani coach Mike Among doesn't quite see the rationale for the Mustangs' drop in the poll.
"Kalaheo has had a solid program for several years now and any team that starts off 7-0 needs to be recognized," said Among, who voted Kalaheo second on his ballot. "Perhaps the OIA coaches remember that the ILH dominates the rest of the state in championships won and automatically gives us credit for being a strong league.
"I know our league is extremely strong this year, even more so than in years past. Kind of reminds me of last year's ILH basketball race, with Saint Louis, Maryknoll, Punahou, Kamehameha and Iolani just hammering away at each other all season long," he added.