KAPA‘A — Senior night started Tuesday evening with injured Warrior Tiore Daligcon serving from her crutches. It ended with a well-placed ball from fellow senior Ciarra Wainwright that capped Kapa‘a’s come-from-behind win over Waimea, 18-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-22, 15-8.
“We’ve grown a lot this year,” Kapa‘a head coach Corey Morishita said after the five-set thriller. “I told our girls that we’re playing as good or better than anybody right now.”
The Warriors have come a long way this season as they’ve learned to compete after the loss of Daligcon.
The senior played in two games this season before breaking her ankle in practice. Daligcon has spent the rest of the season cheering her team on from the sidelines, providing vocal leadership for a young team.
But with Tuesday night being the final time the Warriors played in front of the home crowd in Kapa‘a, Morishita concocted a play to get Daligcon out on the court one last time.
After talking to Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza, and then clearing it with officials, Morishita told Daligcon that she would serve the opening point of the game.
With the home crowd cheering her on, Daligcon made her way to the service line and placed her casted leg on a chair. She then served the ball — making it over the net — and Morishita pulled the chair away and provided Daligcon her crutches to finish the point.
It was a night to remember for Daligcon, but she wished she would have gotten another hit.
“I was excited. It meant a lot,” Daligcon said. “I was just glad my serve made it over. I wanted them to pass it.”
For most of the game it seemed like Daligcon’s moment would be the only high point of Kapa‘a’s night. The Menehune came out of the gates and won the first and third sets. Waimea led in the fourth before the Warriors fought back to take the game.
The Menehune jumped out to an early lead in the deciding set, but the Warriors caught fire and went on a 9-0 run to push the team to the win.
The last play ended when Wainwright — who excels with her powerful spikes — gently placed the ball in between two Menehune defenders to end the game.
“The win means a lot to me,” Wainwright said. “We may not be able to win the KIF anymore, but this proves we can do anything.”
Wainwright was also pleased to see her fellow senior get one last chance to hit the court.
“I was really happy to see that,” she said.
“She and I have come so far together I was really happy to see her start her senior night.”
Meanwhile, Daligcon was even happier to see her teammate finish the night that she started with a win.
“It felt good,” Daligcon said. “Even from sitting on the bench.”
∫ Tyson Alger, sports writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or by emailing talger@ thegardenisland.com. Follow him on twitter.com/tysonalger.