Warrior boys rebound for second round

KAPAA — The Kapaa High School Warriors volleyball team opened the second round by defeating Waimea in three games, 25-18, 25-20, and 26-24, at Bernice Hundley Gym Tuesday.

The varsity bounced back from a five-set loss to Kauai for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation Round 1 title Monday.

“The boys are still responding to the Monday night loss,” said Kapaa coach Kapule Kaona. “I think they’re responding well. They’re still confident and positive.”

Rudy Agoot’s kill gave Kapaa a 23-16 lead answered by Waimea’s Ryan Lomongo pounding from the outside. Wyatt Harrison’s hit pulled Kapaa up 24-17 only to have Waimea’s Noah Alejandro answer to make it 24-18. Masese Fifita ended the game with a big bang down the middle.

Kapaa built a 13-3 lead in the second set, led by Carson Schmick, Harrison and Fifita. Kaona went to his bench, and despite Waimea capitalizing on the inexperience, Kapaa sealed the deal on a Menehune hitting error.

“We have a goal of trying to get everyone to play in every game,” Kaona said. “The guys on the court are glad when the other boys come out. They get to rest, and so they work to help the other guys gain experience.”

Harrison set the pace for the third set, nailing two kills, one of which ended a long rally where Waimea’s Jayden Fu battled back and forth with Agoot.

Trailing 16-6, Waimea hammered back, Fu hitting off a Kapaa block to start the comeback. A Lomongo hit was followed by a Kapaa hitting error to trim the deficit to six points. Down 18-11, Fu pounded one from the back row, Alejandro hammered two from the opposite side, and an ace from Fu saw the Menehune looking at a two-point deficit after a service error ended the run, 19-17.

A pair of Warrior hitting errors tied the game 19-19 and Waimea went ahead 21-20 on an Alejandro bang.

Good ball placement from Lomongo kept Waimea up, 22-21, and another Fu hammer kept Waimea in the driver’s seat 23-22 before Kapaa put the game away when Harrison tied the set at 24-24. A Waimea hitting error gave Kapaa the advantage before Fifita slammed one down the middle.

“The boys did their thing,” Kaona said. “They stuck to their game plan. The beast is fed.”

Waimea’s Bobby Oliver sat out the night battling the cold bug.

“He should be back by Friday when we host Kauai High School,” said Waimea coach Alton Shimatsu. “The team played well tonight. They saw that they can compete without some key players out there.”

The Warrior junior varsity opened the night with a three-game sweep of the Menehune, 25-20, 25-18, and 26-24.

Kapaa next travels to Island School on Friday while Waimea prepares to host Kauai High School at the Clem Gomes gym. The junior varsity games serve up at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity games starting no earlier than 6:30 p.m.

“We’re trying to build more team spirit with the boys,” Shimatsu said. “Hopefully, Bobby will be recovered enough to play, and we’ll be ready.”

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