comscore Birthday girl leads ‘Iolani volleyball to sweep of Punahou | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Birthday girl leads ‘Iolani volleyball to sweep of Punahou

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                                ‘Iolani’s Senna Roberts-Navarro went up for a kill against Punahou on Thursday.


    ‘Iolani’s Senna Roberts-Navarro went up for a kill against Punahou on Thursday.

It was quite the birthday, indeed, for ‘Iolani outside hitter Anuhea Hauanio Lore.

The senior crushed 15 kills and added a block and an ace as ‘Iolani swept Punahou 25-22, 25-15, 25-22 on Thursday night in ILH girls volleyball action at Father Bray Athletic Complex.

“My mom sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me this morning on Alexa. She’s a great singer. It meant a lot. It’s a great day,” Hauanio Lore said.

Her team joined the celebration after the match, circling the birthday girl and singing at the top of their lungs as they ran around her, hand in hand.

The Raiders, who swept Mid-Pacific on Tuesday in their league opener, improved to 2-0 in resounding fashion.

“I’m super excited for the kids. It’s been a long time coming. It’s been about four or five long weeks since the Ann Kang (Invitational) that we’ve been eager to play someone different. They performed and it’s a super awesome feeling,” ‘Iolani coach Kainoa Obrey said.

Senna Roberts-Navarro added nine kills, and Brooke Naniseni and Mari Lawton tallied eight kills apiece. Roberts-Navarro, Naniseni and Lawton are juniors. Senior setter Mokihana Tufono set the table with 36 assists and one kill.

Junior Tessa Onaga sparked a strong back-row performance by the Raiders.

Punahou had swept Kamehameha just two nights earlier, but couldn’t stop Lore, who also delivered against double blocks. Lucky-Rose Williams led the visiting Buffanblu with nine kills and three blocks. Grace Fiaseu added seven kills, two aces and one block, while Lulu Uluave and Logan Deuchar chipped in five kills each.

Setter Jaclyn Matias finished with 26 assists and one kill, while Belle Iosua tallied three kills for Punahou (1-1).

“We’re fortunate to have good kids willing to work hard. They want to be really good and they put time and effort in it,” Obrey said. “It’s fun to watch them play, enjoy themselves, play freely and go after it. Beating Punahou’s not easy by any means. Tita (Ahuna) is bringing a good, positive energy to Punahou. We knew we had to work hard, so the girls studied, and they’re hungry.”

The force that came with Naniseni off the bench was crucial for the Raiders. So was the versatility of Lawton, who started at middle, but also brought some key kills from the right side.

In the opening set, the Buffanblu tied the score five times before ‘Iolani opened the lead to 19-13 after a block by Naniseni, two kills by Lawton and an ace by Hauanio Lore. Punahou got within 22-20 after a kill by Fiaseu and a block by Williams, but got no closer.

The visitors led 9-7 in set two after a kill by Duechar, but the Raiders went on a 9-3 run. Two hitting errors, an overpass and a net violation by Punahou helped the home team, and after Roberts-Navarro delivered three kills during the run, ‘Iolani led 16-10.

Punahou pulled within 17-13, but Hauanio Lore soared above blocks for three more kills as ‘Iolani closed out the second set.

The Buffanblu rallied to tie the third set at 4-all on a block by Williams, but never led. Hauanio Lore continued to bring the heat with five more kills. ‘Iolani led 10-5, but couldn’t extend the lead. Punahou rallied to within 14-13 on a block by Duechar, but didn’t get over the hump.

Elizabeth Asada came through with an ace during a 4-0 mini-run for ‘Iolani. Back-to-back aces by Fiaseu brought the Buffanblu within 22-20, but Naniseni and Lawton clutched up with kills to close the match out.

‘Iolani will visit Kamehameha on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Also on Tuesday, Punahou will entertain Mid-Pacific.

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