Red Raider girls place 7th at volleyball state tourney

Kauai High School’s varsity girls volleyball team beat Radford of the Oahu Interscholastic Association 2-0 in a consolation match Saturday at the Neil Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

The Red Raiders won, 25-20 and 25-21, to take seventh place at the New City Nissan Girls Volleyball Championships  — Division II tournament.

“The girls played exceptionally well. Not as good as I’ve seen them play, but they played a really good game,” said Kauai head coach Dorene Matias in a phone interview following the game. “They executed their hitting, passing and service. All three elements, they did really well.”

With the win, eight Red Raider seniors finished their high school volleyball careers. Outside hitter Jondee Rivera recorded seven kills and 10 digs, and middle blocker Kawehi Harris had five kills and three blocks. Middle blocker and co-captain Harley Kaeo had two kills, a block and a dig.

“The eight seniors that I have, they came to a realization that this was their last game. They gave it their all,” Matias said. “They saw it as a nice ending to their senior career — winning KIF and coming to states. It was like icing on the cake for them.”

Freshman Tia Takasaki said the experience she soaked up at her first state tournament will help her be better prepared for next year. It also gives her added motivation to help her team retain its Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball title.

“It was really fun. It was a good experience,” she said. Takasaki had seven digs and two aces in the game.

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