Punahou Buffanblu Beat KS-Maui Warriors in Straight Sets, Advance to HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Semifinals 


MOANALUA — The Punahou Buffanblu (12-5) beat the KS-Maui Warriors (11-4) in three sets Thursday night at Moanalua High School, 25-16, 25-17, 25-13. 

With the win, the Buffanblu move on to Friday night’s HHSAA boys’ volleyball state semifinals and a clash with the top-seeded Moanalua Na Menehune. 

KS-Maui started out hot, scoring three of the first four points of the night before the Buffanblu responded with a 5-0 run to take the lead, 6-3. Punahou continued to add on to the lead, doubling up the Warriors in the opening set, 14-7.

KS-Maui was forced to take a timeout after falling behind, 18-10, looking to slow down some of the momentum that Punahou had mounted since their early deficit in the set. While the Warriors were able to mount a slight comeback, Punahou held their opponent mostly at arms’ length for the remainder of the frame.

Punahou closed out the opening set on a 3-0 run, taking it 25-16 over the Warriors with three straight powerful kills. 

The second set of the night started far better for the Buffanblu, jumping out to a 5-1 lead over KS-Maui. Punahou continued to build on the lead after an early KS-Maui timeout, as effort turned into extra points for the Buffanblu to steal from the Warriors, 13-6.

Punahou forced KS-Maui to call their second timeout of the set after going up 19-10, as the Warriors’ coaches tried to rally the team to avoid a two-set deficit. The effort came up short for KS-Maui, dropping the set, 25-17.

A smooth night continued to go the way of the Buffanblu in the third and final set as Punahou jumped out to a six-point lead, 9-3, to force the Warriors to call a timeout. KS-Maui continued to try and fight, but Punahou doubled them up late with a 20-10 lead in the set.

That lead only continued to grow with a big block at the net for Punahou, as the Buffanblu closed the match out on a 5-3 run to win it, 25-13. 

Kamehameha Schools-Maui will face Hilo in the fifth-place bracket semifinal match on Friday night after dropping just the team’s fourth match all season. The match will take place at McKinley with first serve coming around 5:00 p.m. HST.

Punahou advances to the state semifinal round and will take on top-seeded Moanalua with a spot in the 2023 HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Championship match on the line. First serve for the semifinal is expected to be around 5:00 p.m. HST.