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Redondo Union pounds Punahou


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POSTED: Sunday, August 23, 2009

As the Punahou girls volleyball team walked off the court after the trophy presentations for the Ann Kang Invitational at 'Iolani yesterday, the players were all smiles. They paused before leaving the court to sing “;Happy Birthday”; to teammate Carina Thompson, who was celebrating her 18th. They were having a good time.

It is the preseason after all, and the matches don't count in the win-loss column. And for Punahou's sake, that is a good thing. Because the Buffanblu's smiles belied the 25-19, 25-15 thumping from Redondo Union in the Ann Kang championship game.

It is the 11th time in 12 years a California team has walked away with the 'Iolani tournament championship. (Kamehameha's title in 2007 is Hawaii's only Ann Kang championship in that stretch.) 'Iolani came in third.

Though Punahou's only tournament loss came in the championship game, Redondo Union (which finished 9-0) was an efficient, powerful team that ended up making the Buffanblu look lost at times.

“;In some ways, the teams were equal,”; said Punahou coach Jim Iams. “;But the difference was they were able to fight through their mistakes, they were able to maintain their level. And we—for whatever reason—lost it, and along the way, lost a certain amount of confidence and aggressiveness. It's a learning process and hopefully we learn from that.”;

The first game of the championship match was a hotly contested, competitive affair, with both teams taking the lead at one point and neither leading by more than two points. But trailing 17-16, Redondo Union made a late-game surge and powered its way to nine of the next 11 points and a 25-19 win, thanks in part to Punahou's inexplicable mental lapses.

In that mystifying stretch, Punahou's young star, 6-foot outside hitter Tai Manu-Olevao, was frustrated and stymied, especially on three straight points.

After Redondo Union took an 18-17 advantage, the sophomore hitter cranked a line shot that appeared in and appeared to be touched but was ruled a point for the Sea Hawks. On the next play, Manu-Olevao powered two hard swings at the ball, only to see her shots rejected by the Redondo Union double block. That play was eventually ended by Sea Hawks outside hitter Lara Dykstra. On the third successive play, Manu-Olevao touched the net to give Redondo Union another point.

“;We just shut down,”; Manu-Olevao said. “;We weren't talking to each other. It was inexperience. But it's still a learning experience.”;

Those plays were followed by Punahou's two shanked passes as Redondo Union walked away with a 25-19 Game 1 win.

Somehow, the second game got even worse for Punahou, which found itself trailing 9-0 and never seriously challenged Redondo Union. It was an anti-climactic finish to a match that had started with so much promise.

Punahou's offense, predicated mostly on the right arms of outside hitters Manu-Olevao and Juliana Behrens, was held in check, thanks to the Sea Hawks' huge block, which took advantage of the Buffanblu's high, slow sets to the outside and rare sets to the middle by waiting with outstretched arms on Punahou's big swings.

The Sea Hawks finished with eight stuffed blocks, including five in the second game. Manu-Olevao and Behrens finished with a combined 13 hitting errors and 12 kills.

It remains to be seen whether Punahou can learn from yesterday's lopsided loss. But it is still the preseason, and with a talented squad, the Buffanblu are optimistic there won't be too many repeats of the Redondo Union match this season.

“;This is the kind of match that you hopefully do learn good lessons from,”; said Iams.

 

Volleyball

Ann Kang Invitational Volleyball Tournament

At 'Iolani

Gold bracket

Redondo Union def. 'Iolani 25-8, 25-14.

Punahou def. Kahuku 16-25, 25-23, 16-9.

Third place match

'Iolani def. Kahuku 25-13, 25-18.

Championship

Redondo Union def. Punahou 25-19, 25-15.

Silver bracket

Farrington def. Edison 25-19, 25-16.

Hawaii Baptist def. Mater Dei 26-24, 25-21.

Third place match

Mater Dei def. Edison 22-25, 25-17, 15-12.

Championship

Farrington def. Hawaii Baptist 15-25, 25-19, 15-13.

Bronze bracket

Moanalua def. Maryknoll 25-23, 25-19.

Molokai def. Word of Life 25-21, 25-16.

Third place match

Word of Life def. Maryknoll 23-25, 25-21, 15-13.

Championship

Moanalua def. Molokai 25-14, 25-18.

Flight bracket

Mid-Pacific def. Van Nuys 25-18, 25-19.

Kaiser def. 'Iolani B 25-20, 25-18.

Third place match

Van Nuys def. 'Iolani B 19-25, 25-20, 17-15.

Championship

Mid-Pacific def. Kaiser 25-20, 27-25.

ILH
Yesterday
Varsity girls division II
Le Jardin def. Christian Academy 25-8, 26-24

OIA Red West
Yesterday
Varsity girls
Kapolei def. Waialua 25-11, 25-17
Junior varsity girls
Kapolei def. Waialua 26-24, 25-19

ILH
Standings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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Punahou0000011424
Division IIConferenceOverall
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'Iolani0000115161 
Damien0000011327
Word of Life00000000

OIA RED EAST

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
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Castle0000207928 
Kahuku0000207328
Farrington0000102014 
McKinley0000116774
Kailua0000112243
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Kaimuki0000022683

OIA RED WEST

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Red WestConferenceOverall
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Mililani102118203721
Waianae104121117669
Campbell10210113520
Nanakuli000001827
Kapolei012141116841
Waipahu01021112728
Leilehua011821114141

OIA WHITE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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Aiea1050020743
Radford10350115523
Kaiser103526115456
Moanalua102622112938
Pearl City000001737
Kalaheo012226115633
Waialua012635024057
Anuenue01035112655
Kalani0105002066