KAPAA — Not only did the Warrior wahine extend their season at least one more game, but they did so in splendid fashion.
Riding on a wave of energy and emotion, Kapaa High School’s varsity girls volleyball team beat Kauai in straight sets on its Senior Night, 25-18, 25-19 and 25-21.
“Knowing that this is possibly your last game, that’s what we played. This is it. There’s no tomorrow,” Warriors head coach Evan Costa said about his team’s performance. “We had a game plan of just sticking to basics. Nothing fancy. That’s what we spoke about all night — just stick to the basics.”
Junior Tori Daligcon was Kapaa’s leading scorer with 11 kills and contributed on two blocks. Senior Eryka Keoho had nine kills and an ace. Sophomore Paea Tafea had seven kills, five scored in the first set including the set winner.
“I’m just happy that we played as a team. We wanted it more,” Keoho said. “I’m very proud of our girls. We worked hard for it … I’m happy I finished my last year with this team.”
Kapaa senior Kamalani Hopkins had four kills and two blocks in her last regular season home game.
“We played a really great game. I’m really excited. … We just gave it our all. It was our last (game). This was a day we wanted to remember,” Hopkins said. “We have another game to go. … We just have to work harder, be smart, keep doing what we’re doing and just be ready for the next time.”
Kauai took its first lead of the night with an ace hit by senior Jondee Rivera in the final set before eventually losing the closely contested game. She ended her night with four kills.
Senior Harley Kaeo had two kills, two aces and two blocks, and junior Adrienne Graycochea had five kills in the Red Raiders effort.
Kauai head coach Dorene Matias said although her team has beaten their opponent three times this season, she knew they were in for a tough battle.
“They were showing signs at practice. It was unusual … I think they were still doing their Senior Night, our girls … I think they kind of took it for granted. They kind of looked that they were complacent and weren’t mentally there,” Matias said about her team. “I think the girls need to work on the mental part of the game, especially with a big crowd like this and it’s really loud, I need to work on that.”
Before the varsity showdown, Kapaa’s junior varsity team beat Kauai 2-1, winning the first and third sets, 26-24 and 25-18. Kauai won the second set, 25-23.
The second round playoff game will be played 6:30 p.m. Monday at Kauai High School.
If the Red Raiders (11-2 KIF, 5-1 second round, 1-0 playoff) win, they will become this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation champions. If the Warriors (10-3 KIF, 5-1 second round, 0-1 playoff) win, then Kauai and Kapaa will play a championship game at a date and location to be determined.
“A lot of adrenaline, not only from the players, but coaches as well. How do you keep that flame going? I guess we’re going to figure it out,” Costa said about the upcoming playoff game. “That’s the truth. We got to go figure it out. … It’s going to be physical and mental battle. We cannot look past Monday.”
In the other KIF season finale, Waimea’s varsity team beat Island School in straight sets, 25-14, 25-14 and 25-7.
Island School’s JV team beat Waimea 2-1, winning the first and second sets, 25-16 and 25-15. Waimea won the third set, 26-24.