This is “Dots,” VolleyballMag.com’s weekly look at 10 things in high school volleyball, past or present, that interest me and hopefully will interest you. This is the first edition of the 2023 girls prep season. Look for Dots every Tuesday until the last high school state championship in November:
• Five months after Ann Kang guided Iolani School to its first Hawaii girls state volleyball title in 2001, the former Rainbow Wahine player, and 20-year coach and teacher at Iolani, was diagnosed with ALS. The disease took her life 19 months later, at age 47. She left behind her husband, Alan, the first-ever women’s coach at the University of Hawaii; and two young children.
Ann Kang, whom I counted as a friend, was beloved because she was a kind and compassionate teacher, both on the court and in the classroom. The school thought enough of her to name Iolani’s season-opening tournament after her. It is the “Ann Kang Invitational” and has been, for almost two decades, the event that marks the unofficial start to another fall season.
• The 2023 Ann Kang Invitational occurred this past weekend in Honolulu. A total of 16 teams, four from Texas, six from California and six from Hawaii, including Baldwin from Maui; participated in the three-day event that started on Thursday.
Two teams expected to be in contention for the mythical national championship, Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach, California; and Cornerstone Christian of San Antonio; met for the championship, with Costa rallying from a first-set loss to win the title for the second consecutive year.
“We had a great run in the playoffs,” said Mustang coach Cam Green. “I’m really proud of them and how we started our season.”
• While Cornerstone Christian, which features two of the top pins in the country in junior OH Megan Fitch and senior RS Grace Carroll; went 7-0 in Pool B, dropping just one set to Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth, California, in a tight match; Mira Costa was at risk of not making the semifinals after dropping a Pool A match on Day 1 to Punahou of Honolulu. The Mustangs had two swings for the match before dropping Game 3, 18-16. Mira Costa got some help on the second day from unheralded California squad, Los Alamitos, which outlasted Punahou in three sets. That eventually created a three-way tie for first at 6-1.Punahou was the odd-team out and ultimately settled for fifth place overall.
In Pool B, Huntington Beach’s sweep…