Kamehameha quiets doubters


POSTED: Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Kamehameha girls volleyball team has heard the whispers. The Warriors have heard that maybe they're down a bit, that maybe this is the year to knock off the perennial powerhouse program.

Yes, they lost in three sets to rival Punahou in their own preseason tournament. Yes, they were forced to grit out a tough, three-set win over Mid-Pac on Aug. 31. And yes, coach Chris Blake has a young team with three sophomores in the starting lineup.

But in case you haven't taken notice of late, Kamehameha is rolling through the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, building up the momentum that has the four-time defending state champions looking like the top team again. That set the Warriors dropped to Mid-Pac is the only one they have lost through 10 ILH regular-season matches so far. And yesterday, the state's second-ranked squad continued to roll with an easy 25-13, 25-17 win over ILH Division II foe St. Andrew's Priory.




Volleyball Saturday


St. Andrew's1317



“;We believe that we are going to get everybody's best match,”; Blake said. “;We've been lucky enough to be the standard for the past many years, but our girls relish the opportunity and understand that they are the ones everybody is coming to get.”;

The program, which boasts 11 of the last 18 state crowns, has a bevy of talented hitters who have the potential to dominate. Their power was on full display against St. Andrew's, as the Warriors hitters finished with 29 kills with only two hitting errors. Nine players recorded at least one kill. The starting hitters each slugged at least three kills. Taylor Akana and junior Nicole Sniffen led all hitters with seven kills each.

This early-season stretch has been a mere tune-up for Kamehameha. Now, with most of the Division II foes out of the way and a schedule that has been back-loaded with the best teams, the Warriors will be tested.

On Wednesday, they will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the Durango Tournament, a 48-team event featuring national powerhouses from California and Nevada.

And as soon as it returns, Kamehameha will face Hawaii Baptist (last year's Division II state champion), top-ranked Punahou and fifth-ranked 'Iolani in a brutal 12-day stretch.

For Kamehameha, it's time to answer those questions and prove that all those doubts and whispers were premature.

“;We are all ready to show them what we've got,”; said sophomore setter Kelci Renshaw.