Newsflash: Punahou repeated as Division 1 Girls Volleyball State Champions by defeating Kamehameha-Kapalama on November 2, 2012 at the Blaisdell Arena. (Congratulations to Mary Madinger Balding’s husband, Peter Balding ’77, who coached the girls to victory.) This brought me back to the fall of 1973 when similar exciting news of a state volleyball championship made the headlines.
Here’s how the news was reported on page 4 of the November 16, 1973 issue of Ka Punahou:
GIRLS TAKE STATES
The Punahou girls won two consecutive games over Hilo by extremely close scores. The Hilo girls came on the court fired up and super charged. Tremendous pressure was on both teams as a small but noisy crowd cheered and screamed before, during, and after every point.
As the first game started, the Hilo team stayed extremely close to the Pun girls. The Viking team seemed to have the momentum in the early going as the outstanding plays by Georginna Hanohano and Zelda Lainaholo completely stymied the Puns. With Punahou trailing 6-9, standout Julie Morgan made outstanding offensive and defensive plays to spark the Puns. The Puns tied it up with only 2:33 left in the period and then coasted to a 14-10 victory. Standouts in the first game were senior Julie Morgan, Susan Ewing, and Cheryl Grimm.
The second game was the most fantastic and unbelievable game in volleyball ever seen.
The Hilo girls were in complete control of the game with a commanding 12-6 lead. The Punahou girls, after a sluggish start, made a comeback by reeling off six consecutive points and tying the score at 12-12 with only 8 seconds remaining. The Puns then won the pressure filled game, which sent all the spectators at the edge of their seats, by wining 14-12 in one of the most amazing comebacks in volleyball this season. The inspirational coaching of Miss Mary Perry coupled with the outstanding play by the entire Punahou team enabled the amazing Buff ‘n Blu girls to win the State championship.
Note: Each and every team member won a letter for her performance during the season.