Red Raiders place 3rd at states

Kauai High School’s varsity boys volleyball team finished in third place at the New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Championships — Division II state tournament on Oahu.

The Red Raiders defeated Saint Francis School of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu in straight sets, 2-0, Saturday afternoon at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

“I’m actually really happy with the outcome. The boys played really well,” said Kauai co-head coach Dorene Matias in a phone interview following Saturday’s game. “Given the circumstances that they dealt with in the beginning of the season and the goals they put in front of them, they accomplished a lot.”

Outside hitter Kalawaia Judd scored a kill to give Kauai a 21-14 lead in the second set en route to winning the frame, 25-15. Setter Marcus Carvalho had the assist.

Later on, defensive specialist John Agni smacked the game-winning ace.

Kauai won the first set, 26-24. Tied at 24-24, Kauai outside hitter Lii Colipano scored the go-ahead kill. A Saint Francis attacking error following Colipano’s kill gave the set to the Red Raiders.

“We went back to our normal rotation,” Matias said about winning the second set by a 10-point margin. “In the first set, we tried to match up the players and it was not working for us. So, we went back to the original lineup and it worked well. It’s all about the boys being comfortable, especially in a high-stress game.”

Kauai totaled 27 kills, 24 assists and nine blocks in the third place game. Lii Colipano was the Red Raiders’ offensive leader with 10 kills, followed by Judd with nine. Carvalho had 15 assists.

Saint Francis had 18 kills, 17 assists and a block. Outside hitter Viliami Pua had seven kills, and middle blocker Supilani Mailei had six. Oustide hitter Justin Saarsuelo had 13 assists for the Saints.

Prior to Saturday’s game, Kauai beat No. 4 seed Hawaii Prep Academy of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, 3-2, Thursday and was defeated by No. 1 seed Hawaii Baptist Academy of the ILH, 3-0, in the semifinals Friday.

Kauai High finished the season with a 13-5 overall record (11-4 KIF, 4-2 second round, 3-0 playoff).

“(It was) most definitely different because I coached only girls. It was different for me,” Matias said, who also coaches Kauai High’s varsity girls volleyball team. “It was exciting. It’s bittersweet now that it’s over.”

“It was a good season for me. I hope it was the same for the boys,” she added.

In the tournament’s fifth place game, Kau of the Big Island defeated Hawaii Prep in straight sets, 25-22 and 25-19.

Hawaii Baptist defeated No. 2 seed Hana of the Maui Interscholastic League in three sets, 25-8, 25-15 and 25-11, to win the Division II championship.

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