Oct. 13—Lucky-Rose Williams had 13 kills, two aces and four blocks as No. 1 Punahou outlasted No. 3 'Iolani 25-12, 25-23, 23-25, 28-26 on Tuesday night at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.
Belle Iosua, playing out of position at middle, tallied 10 kills and two blocks in a key adjustment by Buffanblu coach Tita Ahuna.
"Belle is super dynamic in the middle. We need to find ways to get more balls to her. She did fantastic and she came up with big plays when we needed her. I'm very proud of her tonight, " Ahuna said.
Iosua's versatility came through during a wild second set when 'Iolani seized momentum by taking a 19-8 lead. Iosua had two kills during a major Buffanblu run. Lulu Uluave's ace tied it at 23, Williams' block gave the home team a one-point lead, and Iosua roofed Senna Roberts-Navarro's back-row try to complete a miraculous 17-4 run.
'Iolani was relentless, taking set three, and the Raiders led the fourth game 24-23 after a kill by Anuhea Hauanio-Lore.
However, Williams came through with a kill to tie the game. A roof by Roberts-Navarro later tied the set at 26, but Grace Fiaseu's kill gave Punahou the lead, and a hitting error by Roberts-Navarro ended the match.
Punahou improved to 5-1 in the ILH Division I standings. 'Iolani, the state champion in 2019, is 3-3.
"I love playing on the pin, but Coach needed me in the middle, so I'll do whatever it takes to get a team win, " Iosua said. "Individual accolades are awesome to achieve, but getting that team win is a bigger meaning to me. I'll do whatever it takes to win."
Fiaseu added seven kills, two blocks and one ace for Punahou, and Uluave had 12 kills. Melie Vaioleti had three of her team's nine aces. Haumea Marumoto chipped in six kills and one block, and senior setter Jaclyn Matias had 46 assists and two crucial aces in the fourth set.
Roberts-Navarro led the visiting Raiders with 22 kills. Anuhea Hauanio-Lore added 10 kills, and middle Mari Lawton tallied six kills and three blocks. Setter Mokihana Tufono dished 43 assists and had two blocks.
The first time the teams met nearly three weeks ago, 'Iolani swept Punahou 25-22, 25-15, 25-22.
" 'Iolani is a great team. They're not going to fold for nobody. We have to be on top of our game every single time, " Ahuna said. "They're well coached. We continued to stay with our game plan. That's all we did. We told the girls to trust in their teammates, and they did."