Punahou captures boys and girls doubles titles


POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Punahou boys tennis coach Rusty Komori is gearing his team for a shot at winning another state title this May.

The boys have won 19 straight state titles and appear to be gaining momentum as the season approaches its end.

At yesterday's Interscholastic League of Honolulu tennis championships, Punahou took a giant step toward continuing its dynasty as the Buffanblu duo of Paul Okuda and Travis Yoshimoto defeated the Kamehameha team of Roman Kop and Marcel Chan 5-7, 6-3, 10-6 to capture the boys doubles title.

Punahou's girls also secured a doubles title at the championships at Central Oahu Regional Park. Ashley Nakaoka and Jennifer Laws beat 'Iolani's Kristen Poei and Bobbi Oshiro, 6-2, 7-5.

Although some ILH coaches feel that Punahou isn't as strong as in past years, Komori says he welcomes the challenge of attempting to coach the Buffanblu boys to a 20th straight title.

“;My goal is to never take anyone for granted and to never underestimate our opponents. And I feel that each year brings a new challenge,”; said Komori, who has guided the Punahou boys teams to 16 of those 19 state titles. “;So even though we have a streak of championships going, I think every year it's a new challenge to see how we can be better than we were.”;

There was no team title awarded at yesterday's tournament. Instead, the event served as a qualifier for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships, which will be held May 6-8 on the Big Island.

“;I think this (ILH) tournament is a good preparation for our singles and doubles players in terms of getting tested,”; Komori said. “;It's like a test before the final exam. ... We hope to continue our tradition of winning, but it's going to come down to the players executing.”;

Matthew Westmoreland of Island Pacific Academy won his third straight boys singles ILH title by overwhelming 'Iolani's Marco Kobayashi 6-3, 6-2.

“;I know this isn't my first (ILH) title,”; Westmoreland said. “;But every time I win this title it's a good feeling.”;

In girls singles, Sacred Hearts' Kelsey Daguio won over Karlene Pang of Hawaii Baptist Academy in three sets.

“;I went out there on the court with a determination to win,”; Daguio said.