WAIMEA — The Warrior boys held on to win on the road and remain unbeaten.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Waimea, 3-1, Friday evening.
“Bottom line is we got the win, so we’re happy about that. But the way we went about the win, we always look at the errors that we need to improve on,” said Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona. “We take the positives, but we also look at the errors.”
Kapaa (5-0 KIF) won the first two sets — 25-23 and 25-16 — the first set capped off with a game-winning kill by senior outside hitter Max Nice, and appeared to be on its way to winning in straight sets.
Kapaa then went on to lead by as much as six points in the third set, but Waimea rallied from behind to win that game, 26-24.
“The talk in the locker room is that we just need to keep our foot on the pedal — staying up and not getting down,” Kaona said. “In those different sets, we had the lead by five or six points. And then the lead just easily slipped, and the game just went the opposite direction. Whenever you give anybody that kind of momentum or that kind of opportunity, Waimea did very good as far as taking advantage of it. They did a great job in that third set to pull that off.”
The Warriors again had a good start in the fourth set and led by as much as six. Then the Menehune rallied again to take a late lead, 23-22, and were on the cusp of forcing a fifth set.
“We had no other choice but to go to five sets. I told the boys, ‘Luckily, it’s a Friday night. You got plenty of time,’” said Waimea head coach Alton Shimatsu. “Unfortunately, we fell short in the fourth set. It’s not the way we wanted to end the game, but it is what it is.”
A kill from Nice would tie the score at 23 apiece, and two Menehune errors awarded the Warriors the set, 25-23, and the win.
In the second set, Menehune junior outside hitter Carl Mecham had to exit the game for a moment and Waimea appeared the Menehune had to go at least one play with only five players on the court. Waimea then called a timeout, and Mecham was able to re-enter.
Shimatsu said Mecham had the wind knocked out of him, but was OK.
“All of our subs had already been taken. So we had no other choice, except to play with five,” Shimatsu said. “I called a timeout because he had to sit out one play. He stopped the game, so had to sit out one play. So we used one of our timeouts to take out that play, and he could come back in.”
Nice had 13 kills, two digs and an ace for Kapaa. Junior setter Jayson Hawthorne had 34 assists, four kills and an ace. Junior outside hitter Carson Schmick had 13 kills, six blocks, two aces and three digs. Freshman libero Pomai Rabago-Kaiwi had six digs.
Mecham had nine kills, eight assists and five aces — three of which came consecutively during the third set — for Waimea. Senior setter Briggs Agu had 10 kills, 14 assists, a block and an ace. Senior outside hitter Noah Alejandro had six kills and a dig. Sophomore setter Regis Lomongo had three aces and five digs.
“It was a good game. It was tight all around. We finally got to finish at game against Kapaa,” Shimatsu said. “We still, always, got things to work on. It showed tonight.”
Kapaa and Waimea will finish an incomplete game at 6 p.m. Monday at Kapaa to complete the first round.
During the two teams’ last match on March 22 at Kapaa High School, a fire extinguisher was set off, which filled the gym with a chemical cloud and postponed the game. At the time play was stopped, Kapaa was leading Waimea in the third set, 19-17. Kapaa had won the first two sets, 25-16 and 25-18.
If Kapaa wins Monday’s match, Kapaa will win the season’s first round. If Waimea wins, then a first round playoff game will be played on Tuesday at a time and location to be determined.