Dos Pueblos High School lost little time doing what it came here to do yesterday.
The California girls volleyball team that finished second at last year’s Kaua‘i Challenge volleyball tournament took the lead and held off a strong challenge from Redlands High School to take the Po‘okela Division title with a two-game sweep, 25-21, 25-21.
“We were in the finals last year, and we thought we had the game, but finished second,” said Dos Pueblos coach Dwyane Hauschild. “This time, we knew we were facing a tough team so we just had to do what we came here to do.”
Relying on strong the hitting of Carly Wopat and Caitlin Racich, Dos Pueblos quickly established the lead, but could not really pull away from Redlands.
“We saw them (Redlands) play on opening night and we knew this was going to be an offensive contest,” Hauschild said.
Dos Pueblos came with a dozen players, six of whom are veterans of the Kaua‘i Challenge. That might have helped them stave off the strong challenge from the Redland Wildcats.
“We were slightly weak on our right side because of the rotation,” said Tricia Vansant, coach for Redlands. “They took advantage of that. But we came to play good volleyball, and we did exactly that.”
In Game 1, Redlands came back to take the lead when a Tori Brummett block pulled the Wildcats ahead 20-19. Brummett followed that block with a hit down the middle for a 21-19 lead.
But Dos Pueblos rallied with a Sally Yingst serve that pulled DPHS to a 21-21 stalemate.
Caitlin Racich hammered a kill for the 22-21 go-ahead with Wopat sealing Game 1 with a hard hit off the Redlands block and a block up the middle of Brummett’s hit for the game.
In Game 2, Redlands swung the momentum with two solid kills by Krista Vansant past Dos Pueblos dual blocking. That pulled Redlands back into the fray from a deficit that was as high as eight points.
Vansant blocked Samantha Wopat and another kill pulled Redlands to within three points, 21-18.
Trailing 23-19, Redlands got a tandem block by Monica Gardner and Brummett for a 23-20 deficit before Carly Wopat put away the game with back-to-back kills.
“We had a lot of good volleyball this year,” said Richard Roberts, the founder and key organizer for the Kaua‘i Challenge.
Third place in the Po‘okela division went three games with Rosary and El Toro battling in the second and third games before Rosary nailed the victory 11-25, 25-22, 17-15.
Sacred Hearts Academy nailed down the title of the Olinolino division at Island School with a 25-15, 25-21 win over Pearl City, and St. Bonaventure taking third place with a 25-17, 25-21 win over Mid-Pacific Institute.
The Kaua‘i High School varsity squad opened with a strong showing over Kapa‘a White 25-16, 25-13 to advance in the Onipa‘a division at Kapa‘a High School gym. But the Red Raiders dropped to the Roosevelt Rough Riders 16-25, 13-25 before rebounding against the Kapa‘a Green 25-7, 25-20 for third place in that division.
Roosevelt, with the win over Kaua‘i Red, advanced to face Seabury and nailed the championship with a 25-19, 25-15 win.
Full recaps of the Kaua‘i Challenge volleyball tournament can be found by visiting the Travel International Sports Web site at www.tisworld.com or the Kaua‘i High School volleyball Web site at www.kauaivolleyball.com