WAIMEA — Kauai High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Waimea, 3-1, in Saturday’s playoff game at Waimea High School.
“This was not the same team,” said Red Raiders co-head coach Dorene Matias. Despite not having much time to prepare, she said the team’s showing was much better than Friday’s 3-0 loss to Kapaa at home.
“I think the loss helped them. They came to a realization of how important it was for them to step up their game,” she said. “They’re very smart kids. They grasped that really well. They wanted it more than anything else.”
With the win, Kauai (5-2 KIF, 1-0 playoff) will host Kapaa (4-2 KIF) tonight. The winner will claim the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season’s first round.
“We stuck around with Kapaa for a little while (on Friday). Now, we know we can play with the energy we gave tonight,” said Red Raiders senior outside hitter Kalawaia Judd. “Hopefully, Monday will be an excellent game.”
Red Raiders won the first set, 25-20. After giving up the second, they won the next two sets, 25-19 and 25-21.
“(We were) just motivated. We had a good walkthrough this morning. We just flushed last night’s game out and just came out strong. We just flipped the switch,” Judd said.
Waimea (4-3 KIF, 0-1 playoff) won the second set, 25-22.
“We’re lucky it’s only the first round. There’s a lot more volleyball left to play,” said Menehune head coach Alton Shimatsu. “Kauai High, they did really good tonight. They came out to bang.”
The Menehune coach said that, aside from the second set, his team consistently played from behind and couldn’t rally to take a lead late in games.
“Kauai High just capitalized on every chance they had,” he said. “We had a lot of opportunities, but just couldn’t finish. It’s really hard to play from behind, especially with large deficits like that.”
Tonight’s playoff game will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Kauai High School’s gym.
“We’re lucky we get to play in our own court, but it really doesn’t matter if you’re in your home court or not. What really matters is which team shows up to play,” Matias said. “Kapaa’s not an easy team. They have two days to rest. I’m looking forward to it though.”