Girls Division 1 Volleyball Captures State Title

Tessa Onaga ’23 about to dig the ball. / Photo credit: Mr. John Tamanaha ’87

For the first time since 2018, the ‘Iolani Girls Varsity Volleyball team captured the HHSAA Division 1 state championship. With only one loss in league play this season and holding the first seed, ‘Iolani was the favorite to win the state championship game. However Kamehameha-Hawaiʻi was coming off an impressive state tournament run with a sweep of Punahou, the ILH’s second representative in the tournament, as well as a win over second-seeded Kahuku. Either the dominant team the entire season or the underdog Cinderella team was going to win. In the end, the Raiders’ season long dominance continued all the way into the last game on October 28. The Raiders won all three sets consecutively to bring home the state title. This championship became the fourth overall state title for the ‘Iolani Raiders and the third state championship for head coach Kainoa Obrey ’99.

In the opening set, the Raiders were able to garner a comfortable five point lead after a slow start with the two teams exchanging points back and forth. However, the Raiders’ lead would soon be diminished when an error by the Raiders allowed the Warriors to capitalize and tie the game. The Raiders would go on to win the set with a 7-point lead, 25-18.

In the ensuing second set, the Raiders went up 18-15 after an exchange in points and a few errors by the Warriors. The Raiders continued with a 7-2 run of points and the set concluded 25-17. In the final set, Kamehameha-Hawaiʻi seemed to have control, even going out to a 16-13 lead. ‘Iolani, unfazed by that run, came back and the set finished very close as the set was tied at 19 and 22 points respectively. In the end, the Raiders scored the last three points of the game finishing off their miraculous season.

‘Iolani fans cheer on the Girls Division 1 Volleyball Team as they play in the state championship game. / Photo Credit: Mr. John Tamanaha ’87

In the end, ‘Iolani finished the season with another sweep at Stan Sheriff Center to conclude their very dominant season. Senna Roberts-Navarro ’23 and Brooke Naniseni ’23 had 26 kills combined and Maya Imoto-Eakin ’23 finished with 40 assists. Tessa Onaga ’23, with an impressive 34 digs in the championship game, was named the HHSAA Girls Volleyball Division I Most Outstanding Player of the tournament and four other Raiders made the All-Tournament Team. Having been ranked nationally this year, ‘Iolani plans to continue its success next year as they aim for their fifth state title.