LIHU‘E — As if there needed to be any more reason to celebrate at Kapa‘a High School, after the girls volleyball team captured their first title in 35 years.
The boys followed suit, but they managed to erase 11 years of the absence of a KIF championship, with a straight set win (25-20, 25-20, 25-22) over Kaua‘i, the defending champs, last night at the Raiderdome.
“I’m relieved but really happy. Without the great effort and hard work from the boys, this wouldn’t have been possible,” Kapa‘a head coach Merrill Carvalho said.
Both the boys and girls squads finished up their 2005-06 campaign with perfect 8-0 records.
Leading the way for the Red Raider boys were Jordan Cox, Ryan Nagaoka, who saved his best performance for the last game of his career, and Clesson Lee, who also played his final game.
Meanwhile, Kehau Judd and Tina Moger, KIF players of the year for the last two seasons, participated in their final prep contest last night.
The Warrior girls dismantled Kaua‘i in four sets (4-25, 25-14, 25-14, 25-22) to complete an unblemished season.
Once again, Poe Gantt, Brittney Carvalho, Amniesty Ragsac, and Joliann Arzadon led the way for Kapa‘a.
“Our team has a really great attitude and it feels really good to win,” Arzadon said.
By her own admission, the key performer noted that she grew up and worked through a bit of an attitude problem, which let the team down during crucial times.
But this season, the junior stepped up and showed true leadership throughout the year.
“She’s been awesome and she’s the type of player coaches like to coach,” Warrior head coach Kaipo Kealalio III said.
Up next for the Warriors are the 2005-06 state volleyball tournaments, which run from November 7-10.
“I would be very upset if we didn’t get a seed. I just hope we get one of the top four seeds. I wouldn’t mind a number two seed, but even if we don’t get one (a seed), we’re still going to have to go out there and compete,” Carvalho said.
The last time the Warrior boys won a KIF volleyball title was in 1994, when assistant girls volleyball coach Milo Haneberg was a sophomore on that squad.
“I was in college at that time, but a lot of pressure is now off of us. The boys worked so hard for this and I’m just so proud of them,” Carvalho said.
Setter Danny Rodrick, who has been the key for the Warrior attack throughout the season, came up big last night against the Red Raiders.
“We’re hoping before the season that we could win the KIF and we did it. It feels really good. I’m really happy. The excitement, when Kaina (Kahaunaele) hit that ball down for the last point, went all the way to the tips of my body,” Rodrick said.
Last night, the Warrior boys were led in the hitting department by Kahaunaele, Nate Borales, Henry Borges, Lyndon Pascual, and Chaz Galvez.
“It feels good and sad right now because the (regular) season is over. Everybody bonded as a team. We knew from the start that we could do this,” Galvez said.
His mom, Heidi Lee, a loud and vocal supporter, has spearheaded an effort to raise funds for the team’s journey to the state tournament.
According to Carvalho, each player has to raise at least $200 apiece to go to states.
So far, families have been soliciting funds from local businesses and the team is also participating in a Krispy Kreme fundraiser.
To help out either the boys or girls volleyball teams, contact athletic director Greg Gonsalves at 651-3912.
The 2005-06 KIF champion Kapa‘a Warrior boys squad consists of John Borales, Nate Borales, Henry Borges, Ray Chevlin, Waioli Forrest, Lyndon Pascual, Chris Ramelb, Danny Rodrick, Chaz Galvez, Kaina Kahaunaele, and Travis Wakayama. The team’s manager is Brynn Hashimoto. The coaches are Merril Carvalho, Leroy Kaona, and Michelle Carvalho.
It’s the first time in history that the boys and girls volleyball squads for Kapa‘a finished undefeated with the KIF championships in hand at the same time.
But for both Carvalho and Kealalio III, the quest isn’t over.
The two coaches would like nothing better than to bring home a division II state volleyball title.
“I know we can both do it. Both teams have proven that they are capable of doing great things,” Carvalho said.
And with the history books updated, the past 35 years of teams for the girls can now rest and the past 11 years of teams for the boys are now smiling because of what just happened last night.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or firstname.lastname@example.org