comscore Refocused No. 3 Kamehameha topples No. 2 Punahou | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Refocused No. 3 Kamehameha topples No. 2 Punahou

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A focus on the smaller aspects is turning into big plays on the court for Kamehameha.

Digging balls and passing well helped fuel No. 3 Kamehameha’s middle attack in a 25-19, 19-25, 25-18 win over No. 2 Punahou in an ILH girls volleyball match on Tuesday at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

Middle blockers Brooke Kaawa and Shiloh Pelaras combined for 18 of Kamehameha’s 38 kills. Kayla Afoa and Kili Robins added eight kills each in the win and freshman setter Lexis Akeo finished with 37 assists. Working off of good passes, Akeo was able to set her middles the entire match.

“When it comes to it, it was a great team win for us,” said Kamehameha coach Chris Blake. “We believe the strength of our team is our team, and we got her (Akeo) the ball, she was able to distribute. We were very happy with the little things we did.

We played great defense … she did the little things in order for us to be successful. It was a great team effort for us.”

Kamehameha (6-2) returned from the Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas last week and the trip taught the Warriors how to work effectively with each other. That has translated to a greater intensity on the floor.

“We learned to play as a team, to work together,” said Pelaras, who had 11 kills and two blocks.

“We’re way more intense and we count on each other to make the plays.”

Blake said his team is a different squad since the Durango Fall Classic.

“We got back from Durango and we’re a different team,” Blake said. “We know what we have to do. We’re focusing on controlling the little things (and) for us, taking those steps. Today was a great step for us, the first of many. It’s a pretty big week for us.”

The top three teams in the state face each other this week. No. 1 ‘Iolani visits Kamehameha on Thursday and ‘Iolani hosts Punahou on Friday.

“Come in here and work and give 110 percent,” said Kiana Peroff, who had 10 kills for Punahou (7-2). “Coach Tanya (Fuamatu-Anderson) doesn’t expect anything less and we don’t expect anything less of ourselves. We just have to clear our heads, give it 24 hours, clear our heads and come back in with that fighting mentality. We know we can compete with ‘Iolani and Kamehameha.”

Vae Malufau added seven kills and two blocks for Punahou and Nikki Lum had 25 assists. Lum served five straight points to help Punahou pull away midway through Set 2.

Pelaras helped the Warriors close out the match. She had four kills and a block to turn a slim 16-12 lead into a 23-17 margin in Set 3.

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