Raiders alive

KAPA’A – The Kaua’i Red Raider boys and girls volleyball squads improved to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in second round play to keep their KIF title hopes alive with a Wednesday double-header sweep of the Kapa’a Warriors at the Bernice Hundley Gymnasium.

Kauai 15-13, 15-7

GIRLS – Senior setter Courtney Doliente doled out 20 assists to lead the Red Raiders to their two-set victory over the Warriors.

With the opening set knotted at 13-13, Kaua’i back row specialist Jody Miyashiro’s dig save found an open spot on the Warrior sideline to return serve to teammate Kellie Masuda. A Tina Moger-Farren Higley block assist put the visitors ahead and a Kapa’a free ball passing error closed out game one scoring.

Moger and Doliente combined for 3 service aces to help the Red Raiders jump out to a 10-6 advantage in the second set. A Kyrie Simeona solo block and Warrior hitting error bumped the lead to six points. Simeona then connected on a Doliente backset for a 13-6 score and Doliente’s second ace dropped to an open middle to set up an aloha ball opportunity. An unforced hitting error gave the ball back to Kapa’a however, and the hosts cut the lead on an Uluwehi Torio kill of a Raider overpass. The Warrior’s tenth service error put the ball in the hands of Moger and the long match-ending rally closed on Simeonas game-high eighth kill off the block

“The whole team stepped up and played well,” said Kaua’i head coach Richard Roberts in a sideline interview, “Courtney Doliente just had an exceptional game – she mixed it up and put them up for our hitters.”

“Ihilani (Yama) on the Kapa’a side stepped up and refused to let balls drop tonight. She was all over the court played with a lot of heart.”

The victors were also paced by the efforts of Moger (5 kills, 1 block assist, game-high 10 digs), Alaina Villatora (4 kills), Masuda (2 kills, 9 digs), and defensive specialist Holly Iloreta (6 digs). Farren Higley recorded a pair of kills and a block assist while Jody Miyashiro (1 service ace, 4 digs) and Anna Quibilan (5 digs) played well off the bench.

The Warriors, who dropped to 1-5 overall (0-2 second round), were led by setter Yama (12 assists, 6 digs), middle Kelly McBride (team-high 5 kills), Sharlene Carillo (4 kills, 4 digs), Amniesty Ragsac (3 kills, 8 digs), and Tess Maguire (3 kills, 6 digs). Ashley Valvieja played well in the backrow with 6 digs for Kapa’a.

Kauai 12-10, 14-8

BOYS – The boys match was more a battle of attrition as the game clock expired to prematurely end both sets.

Kaua’i worked to a 12-7 opening set edge punctuated on a Eric Fujikawa-Kamu Kawaihalau block assist of a Warrior quick kill try only to see the Warriors battle back within a pair. With 22 seconds left and Kapa’a with the serve, both squads failed to capitalize on kill opportunities before setter Aukai Dennis and sophomore middle Futi Tavana combined for a block assist to claim the sideout as time ran out. Both teams combined for a total of 31 sideouts in the initial game.

The Raiders broke a 6-6 tie in the second set and reeled off 8 consecutive points on the sharp serve of defensive specialist Warren Lee and hot hitting of Fujikawa and Kelly Foster.

A Ricky Rodrick kill and Raider blocking error trimmed the lead to 14-8 before both squads traded serving errors as the clock wound down. Landon Peeren’s quick kill from the middle claimed a Kaua’i sideout as the horn sounded to end the match.

“Tonight’s match was great preparation for Saturdays game (with league-leading Waimea),” Raider head coach Shawn Doo said after the match, “Weve been searching for the right combinations and chemistry all season long and I think we found it this evening.”

The Raiders total team effort was spearheaded by Dennis (22 assists, 2 kills, 5 digs), Fujikawa (team-high 8 kills, 3 block assists, 9 digs), Kawaihalau (7 kills), Foster (6 kills), Lee (8 digs), Jonathan Arakaki (3 kills, 2 block assists, 7 digs), and Mason Chan (5 digs).

Kapa’a’s Ricky Rodrick led all players with a game-high 13 kills (with 1 solo block and 9 digs) while teammate Kyle Mahoney recorded 25 assists and 13 digs. Cale Forsen (6 kills, 6 digs), Billy Toy (4 kills, 4 digs), Alika Woodward (4 kills, 1 service ace), and Koa Yama (5 digs) also excelled. Bryan Domingo (1 solo block, 1 block assist), a 5-6″ middle blocker, also delighted the home crowd with a pair of rejections against the much taller (6-5″) Tavana.

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