KAPAA — The Kapaa High School Warriors swept Waimea in three sets Friday night at the Bernice Hundley Gym.
“We keep telling them not to be selfish,” said Evan Costa, the Kapaa volleyball coach. “We’re not a one-person, or two-person team. If you’re having problems, let the team know; if you make a mistake, don’t look at the ground — look at the team because they’re going to carry you.”
The advice worked as both the junior varsity and varsity squads took their respective series, 3-0. The JV team won 25-8, 25-20 and 25-12 while the varsity squad posted victories of 25-14, 25-21 and 25-12.
“It’s hard to do anything against something that big,” said Chad Delanoza, the Waimea varsity volleyball coach. “Kapaa is big and all we can do is push.”
The middle carried the Kapaa victories in both the JV and varsity games. The varsity squad got leadership from Tori Daligcon, a junior, Paea Tafea, a sophomore and junior Siokapesi “Pesi” Paua.
Kapaa setter Kunani Tuttle, a junior, pulled the Warriors ahead of Waimea in the first set, coming up with five unanswered points, including an ace for a 15-7 lead.
A Daligcon push up the middle saw the score climb to 18-8 and Haaheo Mahinai whacked through the middle for a 21-12 margin before Brylyn Aiwohi served up a series which forced a Menehune miscue for the 25-14 final.
The second set saw the Menehune force at least five ties and take the lead three times before Daligcon ended the match with a shot down the middle for the 25-21 win.
Waimea’s Caitlyn Owen forced the first tie with a kill followed by Shania Kahepuu coming off the opposite side for the 7-5 Waimea lead.
Kapaa answered when Mahinai came in strong from the outside for an 18-15 Kapaa lead. That was after she pulled Kapaa out of a 9-9 deadlock with an ace.
Back to back tandem blocks by Daligcon and Kamalani Hopkins gave the Warriors a 24-18 lead which was answered by Waimea’s Kirra Yoshioka, who led three straight points to pull Waimea within three, 21-24, before Daligcon settled the set with a shot up the middle.
Kapaa controlled the final set from the onset, pulling ahead 19-8 behind a tandem block by Paea Tafea and Pesi Paua.
“The girls are starting to believe in what they do,” Costa said. “Everyone has a role to play, and they have to play their roles.”
Costa said Waimea continues to play tough despite being a young, rebuilding team.
“Coach Chad is the only guy I know of in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation who has collected so many titles, both from when he was at Kauai, and now, when he is at Waimea High School,” Costa said. “We have to keep working.”
With the win keeping its record unblemished, Kapaa hosts Island School on Tuesday at the Bernice Hundley Gym.
Waimea takes on Kauai High School at the Red Raider gym Tuesday when the JV games serve up at 5 p.m. and the varsity games starting no earlier than 6:30 p.m.
“We still have some injuries and illness to take care of,” Delanoza said. “Then, it’s back to the drawing board.”