PUHI — After surrendering a two-set lead, the Warrior wahine won in crunch time to escape with a win on the road.
Kapaa High School’s varsity girls volleyball defeated Island School, 3-2, at the Wilcox Gymnasium in Puhi — 25-17, 25-12, 22-25, 17-25 and 15-12.
“It was a long road, but I think it was an important lesson for them,” said Kapaa coach Ari Logan. “For them, one thing we struggled with was learning how to fight and finish. So, I think they definitely put themselves in a position to have to do that. They learned how to do it, so that was a positive.”
Warriors senior outside hitter Sydney Nice said though tensions were high, she still believed the team would pull through in the end.
“I was a little nervous, but I knew that we had it,” Nice said. “We have the ability to finish that game and win. It was just all up to us. We had to do it for each other.”
In the fifth, Kapaa (2-2 Kauai Interscholastic Federation) took an early 3-2 lead on a Voyagers’ attacking error. Later on, tied at 6-6, the Warriors went on a four-point streak to build a lead.
Nice would get the game-winning kill to secure the road win. She ended with 13 kills and a block.
“That was my goal the whole game, to get a line kill. I just knew, like, this is the set and I’m just going to go for it,” she said. “I swung. I felt so happy after that. It was amazing.”
After this match, Logan hopes the team will still have a sense of urgency, even after building early leads.
“When we get in those situations, when we’re up and it’s comfortable, they lack the mental strength to want to continue to push,” she said. “That’s been a work in progress. We’re just going to continue to work on it.”
Island School (0-4 KIF) went on the comeback trail after falling in the second set by double digits.
“The team was down. They were upset with themselves, not with each other,” said Island School coach Kylie Silva. “I just told them that they got to fight. They got to stand their ground, draw their line, and they got to push when they get pushed. So, they took it to heart. They finally showed that they wanted it. They talked about wanting it, but in the first two sets, it didn’t look like it. They finally looked like they wanted to win.”
After trailing early, the Voyagers rallied and took a 15-14 lead on a kill by sophomore outside hitter Wailana Marvin. Later on, Island grew its lead with a four-point streak — two of those points scored on aces by Marvin.
In the fourth and with a 10-8 lead, Island again grew a larger lead on a four-point streak capped off with consecutive aces by senior libero Audrey Warner.
The Voyagers would win the fourth set on a Warriors error to force the match to a fifth set.
“They want to win. They want to play, not just come to play, but come to play competitively,” Silva said. “Seeing the crowd, they were into it, which helped the girls get even more into it. It was good to see stuff like that, especially coming from Island School. It was nice to see.”
Warriors junior outside hitter Talia Washington led Kapaa with 14 kills and two aces. Voyagers junior outside hitter Ashley Mecham tallied a game-high 17 kills and a block.
Island School won the junior varsity match, 2-1 — 25-19, 21-25 and 25-22.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.