Kahuku Water Polo Floats To Top Of OIA

Kahuku’s Nohea Kahaulelio has been named the OIA girls water polo Player of the Year. As the state’s leading scorer with 49 goals this spring, Kahaulelio was one of the catalysts for a Red Raider team that won 17 straight games at one point as well as delivering the program’s 10th OIA title in the last 11 years.

Kahuku also was state runner-up, dropping a hard-fought 8-6 decision to Punahou in the recent finale of the state girls water polo championships.

Kahaulelio also played big in big games, scoring eight goals in three contests at the state tourney, including a four-goal effort versus Iolani in a semifinal win. She was joined on the First Team by teammates Kayla Chang and her sister, Kahea Kahaulelio. OIA All-Conference teams are chosen by the league’s coaches at season’s end. Kahuku’s Makana Leiataua was named Coach of the Year.

The Red Raiders also placed Ellie Williams and Ariel Peterson on the OIA’s Second Team, while Kaena Gilman, Paulina Germain and Jake Anderson received Honorable Mention.

Since Hawaii High School Athletics Association began a sanctioned state tournament in water polo in 2004, Kahuku has made the final round of four in each year. In addition to placing second this year, it also was state runner-up in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Mackenzie Sawyer made the Second Team from Castle after scoring 31 goals. The Knights, who finished 5-7 for the season, could always count on Sawyer for offense, as she scored at least one goal in every game. Her season-high of seven was recorded March 20 in a 14-5 win over Campbell. Mackenzie scored two goals or more in 10 of 12 games. The Knights also saw Lauren Calkins and Sarah Weible earn Honorable Mention.

Kalaheo, which finished 7-5 for the year, had a trio of Honorable Mention players in Gabby Clark, Sarai Newbold and Nicole Grimm.

Kailua had five players – Kalai Wilkinson, Sorscha Scott Holmes, Choryn Beall, Lexxi Mellor and Kassandra Kossman – earn Honorable Mention. The Surfriders finished 3-7 this season.