KAPAA — There will be one playoff volleyball game this week.
The match against Kauai High School, holder of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation boys volleyball first round title, and the Kapaa High School team, victors of the Saturday night matchup and holders of the second round title, will determine the KIF champions and the right to advance to the state championships.
Entering the Bernice Hundley Gym Saturday, the possibility of up to two playoff games loomed as the Red Raiders could have forced additional games with a win over the Warriors.
Victory, however, eluded Kauai who fell to the second round champions in three sets, 21-25, 18-25 and 19-25.
Earlier in the evening, the Kapaa junior varsity took its series against the Kauai JV, 25-18, 18-25, and 25-22.
Over at the Clem Gomes Gym, host Waimea High School also swept its series against Island School, the JV boys emerging with 25-19, 26-24 and 25-13 victories. The varsity boys also took the Voyagers in three sets, 25-14, 25-12 and 25-5 to complete its 2015 volleyball season.
“Our boys played well,” said Kapule Kaona, the Kapaa coach. “We minimized the errors on the floor. I believe the boys were able to cut back on the amount of mistakes because they were very calm out there. They were relaxed, but played well.”
In contrast, Kauai High School stumbled on miscues which were enhanced when two of its players were issued yellow cards for unsportsman-like conduct, the first time in the season the cards flashed on the floor.
Kapaa capitalized on this, its players attacking from all parts of the court.
“Kai Harrison did a real good job passing the ball around,” Kaona said. “We could spread out the offense and keep the Kauai defense off balance. Our boys attacked from all parts of the court tonight.”
Wyatt Harrison led the attack from the corners in the first set, getting help from Mosese Fifita in the middle. Max Nice and Rudy Agoot joined the fray from the corners in the second set along with the appearance of a new face in the middle — Nyle Rothschild.
“Carson Schmick was hurt in practice,” Kaona said. “We had to have step-up play from the back-up middle.”
Rothschild, a senior who was honored in the senior parade, was playing volleyball for the first time as a varsity player, opening the curtains with a big block late in the first set.
“I never played volleyball before,” Rothschild said. “But I thought I would like to give it a try and turned out for tryouts last year.”
The player wearing jersey number 9 was turned down, but not ignored.
“He listened to our advice,” Kaona said. “I told him we couldn’t take him on because he had no experience playing volleyball. I told him he needed to go out and play — beach or indoor, it didn’t matter — he needed to get experience and learn the basics.”
Rothschild spent his junior year playing beach volleyball, getting help and tips from Todd Harrison, Kai and Wyatt’s father.
This year, when he appeared for tryouts, he made the team, occupying a spot on the bench until he was called on Saturday night when he became another weapon in the Warrior arsenal.
“He listened and executed with confidence and control,” Kaona said. “He had key blocks, hits and gave us well-rounded play.”
Schmick, having the weekend and a day to recover, will hopefully be in shape to take the floor Tuesday when the playoffs serve up the first ball at 6:30 p.m. at the Bernice Hundley Gym.