Castle Knights Produce East VB Co-Player Of The Year

Castle High senior Kuulei Lynch has been named the co-OIA Eastern Conference Volleyball Player of the Year, the league announced recently. Lynch helped lead Castle to a 13-6 record this fall, including a berth in the Division I state tournament. She shared the honor with Farrington senior Trinity Alualu. The OIA’s All-Star teams are selected in a vote of league coaches at season’s end.

Behind her steady play, Castle finished third in the East’s regular season behind fellow league powers Kahuku and Moanalua. The Knights went on to win the consolation championship at the state tournament, having gone 1-2 in the event. (Castle lost to Mililani at the state tourney before reeling off wins over King Kekaulike and Hilo High.)

Teammate Brandy Smith also was selected to the East’s First Team. Castle placed five players – Jessica Lauaki, Qaira Puaauli-Puahi, Shaney Tiumalu, Rachel Lafitaga and Kiana Tilton – on the East’s Honorable Mention list.

Kahuku dominated the East’s First Team with three selections in seniors Penina Snuka and Pati Anae as well as junior Adora Anae. Coach Camilla Ah Hoy was named East Coach of the Year after leading Kahuku to a 16-2 overall record as well as an OIA Red title. Kahuku took third at the Division I state tournament. The Red Raiders won nine straight at one point during the season before their streak was snapped by Kamehameha in a state quarterfinal match. Kahuku also placed both Sina Tonga and Talia Brown on the Honorable Mention Team.

In Division II, Kailua completed a fine 2012 season, going 9-9 overall en route to finishing as the OIA White Conference runner-up to Farrington. The Surfriders also earned a Division II state tournament berth, but their hopes of winning a state title were ended by back-to-back losses there to Waimea and Kaimuki. Juniors Shaeanijanee Naihe and Keala Kaio-Perez were both chosen to the East’s Second Team from Kailua. Teammates Cherise Franco, Patria Vaimoana, Rae-Lynn Leong, Siani Yamaguchi and Zsanrei Konohia were Honorable Mentions.

Rebekah Kaulbaum, Gabby Clark and Tatiana Schenk-Lee earned Honorable Mention from Kalaheo.

Also locally, Le Jardin Academy’s Kanani Souza was named an ILH Second Team All-Star. Le Jardin also had a pair of Honorable Mention picks in Makena McPherson and Taylor Valentine. The Bulldogs finished 5-5 in the ILH this fall.