Warriors defeat Menehune in five sets

KAPAA — The Kapaa High School boys volleyball team hammered out a victory in five sets Friday before an enthusiastic crowd that nearly filled the Bernice Hundley Gym to capacity.

The varsity won 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, and 15-10.

Kapaa coach Kapule Kaona was happy with the victory. Five set matches have been the norm all season.

“Getting a W is great,” Kaona said. “But I’m happy because the close competition is really great for boys volleyball. The crowd is treated to some great volleyball. It’s a close season and I don’t expect any changes.”

Change was the key for Kaona and the Warriors as Wyatt Harrison exchanged his libero jersey for a regular team shirt, the exchange resulting in Harrison delivering some key shots and nice touches throughout the match.

“I don’t think he’s going back to being the libero,” Kaona said of the defensive specialist position designated for the back row. “He had some nice hits tonight.”

The change brought Wyatt into the firepower ranks of Kai Harrison, Rudy Agoot, Max Nice, Carson Schmick, and Mosese Fifita, who sealed the win in the third set.

“Rudy is our big man,” Kaona said. “He always comes through and makes the big plays.”

Despite the firepower, errors punctuated play on both sides of the net. The Warriors gave up the final five points of the first set on mistakes.

“The boys get the lead and become comfortable,” Kaona said. “They start forgetting the basics and the other team is waiting for the points.”

For Waimea, the firepower fueled by Bobby Oliver, Jayden Fu, and solid step-up play from Ryan Lomongo and the setting of Carl Mecham, was solid, — an improvement over the tentative moves when the teams first met at the Clem Gomes Gym.

Oliver, getting solid support from Fu, put the period on the two Waimea wins with kills.

“This is our first loss in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation,” said Waimea coach Alton Shimatsu. “There is still a lot more volleyball to play, and the competition is definitely tough.”

Shimatsu said despite the loss, he is proud of the way the team covered each other and battled until the end.

In the fifth set, Waimea faced a 12-5 deficit and pulled to12-9 behind Oliver’s hitting before giving up the side on a service error.

“The errors for us came at the wrong time,” Shimatsu said. “Kapaa also played very tough tonight. I’m not disappointed in any of our boys. Two teams came to play, and Kapaa came out on top.”

Earlier in the night, the Warrior junior varsity squad took a 29-27, 25-20 and 25-14 win over the Menehune.

With its first KIF win among the public high schools, Kapaa prepares to host Island School on Tuesday starting with the JV games at 5 p.m. and the varsity match starting not earlier than 6:30 p.m.

Waimea readies the Clem Gomes Gym for the Kauai High School boys Tuesday.

“We just have to be ready to play,” Shimatsu said. “They’re going to come to play. This is a tight KIF season. I’ve never seen the season so tight that every public high school game has played to five sets.”

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