FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kamehameha's Kanani Herring ended the match with a kill past the block of Punahou's Juliana Behrens last night while Tatiana Santiago of Kamehameha looked on.
Warriors take ILH showdown
Stop one weapon, another shoots you down.
So is the life of any foe who rises against Kamehameha. With top gun Kanani Herring limited to one kill in the first game, Bekah Torres took command to lead the No. 1-ranked Warriors over third-ranked Punahou 25-14, 25-20 last night.
A raucous crowd of about 600 at Kekuhaupio Gym saw Kamehameha improve to 5-0 in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play. Torres, a 5-foot-10 senior, tallied 12 kills, a service ace and a block for the Warriors, who had a balanced attack once again. Jordan Meredith pounded five kills and two aces, while Herring finished with seven of her eight kills in the second game. Tati Santiago was nearly flawless with 24 assists.
In their previous preseason match, Kamehameha won in three games.
"Against Punahou in the tournament, Jordan pulled us out in that one," Herring said.
Coach Chris Blake took notes and made some subtle changes.
"Last time, (Punahou's) middles ate us alive. We toughened up our serving and added a few wrinkles in our blocking," he said.
Anuhea Keanini paced Punahou (5-1) with 10 kills. Charlotte Fonua added five kills, and sophomore Pihana Kea had 20 assists to go with a pair of kills.
The visitors hung close and were down just 7-6 after a kill by Courtney Lelepali. Kamehameha then went on a 10-1 run thanks to a rash of Punahou mistakes. Fourteen of Kamehameha's points in the first game came off Buffanblu errors.
Herring came alive in the second game with kills on step-out plays and quick sets over the middle. The Warriors led 20-11 when Santiago took a well-earned break.
Punahou took advantage of her absence and scored the next seven points, getting kills from Keanini and Fonua. An ace by Diana Hiromoto brought the Buffanblu within 20-18, but her following serve was ruled long on a borderline call, and Punahou got no closer than three the rest of the way.
Meredith pounded her final serve, Torres slammed a kill over the middle, and Herring finished the match off with two more kills.
Punahou coach Jim Iams was far from satisfied.
"We had our little run at the end, but it should've been a better match by us. It's one of those situations where we just did not respond well. Kamehameha got to such a comfort zone where they were doing things they don't normally do," he said.
The Buffanblu visit Sacred Hearts on Saturday. Kamehameha will travel to Hawaii Baptist on Saturday.