Everyone plays in senior night; Kauai tops Kapaa

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa High School senior Haylee Garcia explodes out of the stage door after being announced, Tuesday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball game at the Bernice Hundley Gym. Garcia was one of five seniors featured, the others being Taelyn Nunes, Shailee Telles-Kelekoma, Keegan Kessler, and Sydney Nice.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kauai High School’s Rebecca Zenger, Hailey Iha, Maria Gojkovic, Vanessa Alcones, and other Red Raiders are respectful during the rendering of the Kapaa alma mater, Tuesday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball games at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa High School’s Maeha Piturachsatit goes for a save as Kauai Interscholastic Federation tower official Peter Kruse follows the play action in the first set, Tuesday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball games at the Bernice Hundley Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kauai middle Hailey Iha prepares to pull the trigger on a bump set by Kaytlyn Perlas in the second set, Tuesday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball game at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Kekaimalie Hunt hits into the tandem defense of Kauai’s Tiana Manera and Hailey Iha in the first set, Tuesday during the Kauai interscholastic Federation girls volleyball game at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kauai High Schooll’s Kaleonahe Bukoski digs out a Kapaa ball in the back while libero Jolea Kiilau-Pillos backs the play action in the first set, Tuesday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball game at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kauai High School’s Hailey Iha follows her swat back to the Kapaa setter Maeha Piturachsatit in the first set, Tuesday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball game at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.

KAPAA — Every one got some touches Tuesday night when Kauai High School girls volleyball team walked out of the Bernice Hundley Gym with a straight-set win — 25-17, 25-14, and 25-15 — over the Kapaa High School program.

Earlier in the evening, the Kauai junior varsity was a 3-0 winner over the Kapaa JV — 25-19, 25-22, 25-12.

“We didn’t know what was going on elsewhere,” said Kauai High School coach Kehau Regidor. “We got to play everyone, but we still knew we needed the W.”

Facing a 8-1 deficit, the Warriors battled back in the first set of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation volleyball league match, trimming the gap to 9-6 behind hits from Sydney Nice and Keegan Kessler — two of the five Kapaa seniors being featured during Kapaa’s senior night.

Taelyn Nunes, Shailee Telles-Kelekoma and Haylee Garcia were the other Warrior wahine getting play time on the court and taking final balls from the coaching staff following the match that unfolded before a strong student showing despite the Department of Education fall break.

“We just did our best and tried to stay close,” said Kapaa coach Ari Logan. “This was for our seniors, and we let them play and enjoy the night.”

Kapaa stayed close during the second set, getting to a 7-6 deficit before Kauai’s Maria Gojkovic served up a string of nine unanswered points including an ace to lead the Red Raiders to a 20-8 advantage as Kapaa struggled with court miscues.

“Everyone got to play,” Regidor said. “We had our seniors in the first rotation. During the second set, we had our underclassmen mixed in with some seniors. Everyone got time on the court.”

Similarly, Logan’s staff mixed her court with Chelsea Schneider drawing strong cheer with her mixture of hits and blocks in the middle.

“The nerves got the better of the girls,” Logan said. “They were very competitive out there, but they kept digging themselves into holes they couldn’t get out of. Then, they got down on themselves. They have the ability in them, they just need to get past these little things.”

Kapaa opened the third set on a bang from middle Lani Alo, but Kauai roared back to a 6-1 bulge behind hitting from Gojkovic, Darian Kealoha-Albarado and a string of Warrior miscues.

Hailey Iha, displaying some strong defensive efforts throughout the night, dropped two straight kills and Christina King exploded in glee with a block that settled the scoreboard, 20-10.

Alo sparked a Kapaa comeback, but the effort came too late as a Warrior hitting error sealed the night, 25-15.

“Did you see me set?” Gojkovic said. “I should get an honorable mention for setting. Setting is something I always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity until tonight.”

With the win, Kauai closes the KIF girls volleyball season Friday night by hosting the Island School Voyagers at the Kauai High School gym. Kapaa travels to the Clem Gomes Gym to play Waimea High School on its senior night. Junior varsity matches serve up at 5 p.m. followed by the varsity game starting no earlier than 6:30 p.m.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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