HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Kamehameha starts No. 1 in volleyball
Even as a three-time state championship coach, Chris Blake would have relished the role of an underdog.
VOLLEYBALL TOP 10
The preseason Top 10 high school girls volleyball teams in Hawaii as voted on by coaches and media from around the state. First-place votes in parentheses. Ten points for first-place votes, nine for second, eight for third, etc. Not including last night's matches.
| 1. Kamehameha (5)
||vs. Lanakila Baptist
| 2. Iolani (4)
||vs. La Pietra
| 3. Punahou (3)
||vs. Le Jardin
| 4. Kahuku
| 5. Hawaii Baptist
||vs. St. Francis
| 6. Moanalua
| 7. Sacred Hearts
| 8. Word of Life
| 9. Kamehameha-Hawaii
» Also receiving votes:
Radford 13, Farrington 12, Roosevelt 8, Kalani 7, Kamehameha-Maui 6, Waimea 5, McKinley 4, Waiakea 4, Aiea 3, Castle 2, Hilo 2, Kauai 2, Maryknoll 2, Pearl City 2, Honokaa 1, Kailua 1, Mid-Pacific 1, Punahou II 1, Seabury Hall 1.
It was not to be. Coaches and media pegged Kamehameha as the No. 1 squad in the Star-Bulletin Girls Volleyball Top 10 today, even as the Warriors lost three first-team All-State Fab 15 selections.
"There is definitely life after the Big 3," Blake said of graduates Kanani Herring (Hawaii), Bekah Torres (Pacific) and Jordan Meredith (Boston College).
Kamehameha's progress in the young season has been impressive. Setter Kaitlyn Andrade, a Fab 15 pick, and 6-foot middle Alex Akana anchor a young, but determined crew on the hill.
"It's a great honor for our team. I'm glad other (coaches) think that highly of us," said Blake, voted coach of the year last season. "It's a testament to the hard work that the girls put in over the offseason. We've got kids who've been biding their time. They're hungry and understand their roles."
The Warriors won their tournament over the weekend, edging Punahou in the final. Among the new starters making their presence felt is 5-foot-10 outside hitter Whitney Viveiros.
"She's been dynamic for us. She put in a lot of work and was here for a lot of workouts over the summer," Blake said of Viveiros, who hails from the Big Island.
Kamehameha collected five of 12 first-place votes, and Iolani (four) and Punahou (three) were just a stride behind.
"Iolani is returning a bunch of kids and has a lot of players ready to step into roles. They're a great team," Blake said.
Coach Jenic Tumaneng's Raiders lost All-State outside hitter Leinani Keanini to graduation, but returns Chelsea Hardin and setter Maile Yoon. Hardin has already committed to Cal Poly.
Also back is 6-foot Maile Haina, who will likely see more time outside after playing middle last season.
"Part of her strength is her versatility. That makes her more of an asset to the team," Blake said about the rival Raiders.
Punahou, with a strong showing at the Iolani and Kamehameha tournaments, saw All-State libero Sydney Yogi (Texas) graduate last year. However, Anu Keanini returns as a dual talent at outside hitter and setter, and transfer Mana Olevao adds more punch.