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Punahou advances to state volleyball final

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The top-seeded, unbeaten Punahou Buffanblu knocked out Kamehameha-Maui 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 Friday night in the semifinals of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships. A crowd of about 500 watched at McKinley Student Council Gym.

“They’re a very good team,” said junior setter Tayler Higgins, who finished with 37 assists, five digs and two aces. “They gave us a hard time. They’re super scrappy. We got good practice.”

Senior Tai Manu-Olevao delivered rocket after rocket and led the Buffanblu (14-0) with 14 kills (.462). Higgins had her choice of weapons, finding middle Brittney Markwith (seven kills, .385) and outside hitter Carly Kan (six kills, .333). Libero Kat Brooks hustled for a match-high 10 digs.

KS-Maui (15-2), champion of the Maui Interscholastic League, hit .086 and had just two aces to Punahou’s six.

In Division II action, Leilehua defeated Hawaii Baptist 25-16, 16-25, 25-14, 23-25, 15-13 to reach the title game.

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