KAPAA — Fresh off winning the season’s first round on Monday, the Warriors kept riding that wave to stay unbeaten.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Kauai High in straight sets at home Tuesday evening to kick off the second round.
“The first two sets, we were a lot more comfortable. We were more mentally focused a lot better this game,” said Warriors head coach Kapule Kaona. “That’s why we came out firing.”
Kapaa (7-0 KIF, 1-0 2nd round) won the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-19. Warriors junior outside hitter Carson Schmick had the set-winning kill in the second set. Junior setter Jayson Hawthorne got the assist on the score.
“I just feel like we worked together and clicked as a team,” Hawthorne said. “We covered each other. We played good defense. We had good passes and good sets.”
Kauai High (2-5 KIF, 0-1 2nd round) showed some life and had its best showing in the third set, leading by as much as five midway through. The Red Raiders got a surge of energy from a series blocks by junior middle blocker Tajh Mapuhi.
“I found that between the second and third set that we got to dig deep. It’s all about digging deep,” said Red Raiders head coach Enoch Aana. “What makes champions is people that can come from behind. But I don’t want to give any excuses. It’s the beginning of the second round. Half of the season is gone. We now have to play with a sense of urgency way more than before.”
The Red Raiders led for the majority of the set, but the Warriors worked out of the deficit to grab the lead late. A kill by Schmick gave Kapaa a 22-21 lead. A couple of plays later, a block by senior outside hitter Dave Joel gave the Warriors a 24-21 advantage.
“We’ve got a good core of boys on the team. We’ve got some experience,” Kaona said about working out of the third set deficit to stay unbeaten. “I think that definitely helps us throughout our play. Just trying to keep that core together.”
A Warriors error and a block by junior outside hitter Tyron Libarios-Moses cut the Red Raiders deficit to one.
Kapaa then called timeout. In the play following, a service error by Kauai senior outside hittter Damien Butac granted the Warriors the set, 25-23, and the home win.
“I put a little bit too much power on it,” Butac said. “That happens, but give it to Kapaa. They came out firing. They beat us to every spot.”
Senior outside hitter Max Nice recorded 14 kills, an ace and a block for Kapaa. Hawthorne had 23 assists, two kills and an ace. Schmick had six kills, three digs and an ace. Joel had three kills, a block, and ace and a dig.
Butac had eight kills, a block and four digs for Kauai High. Libarios-Moses had seven kills, eight assists, and a block. Mapuhi had four blocks and three kills. Junior setter Jhay Karl Miguel had 13 assists and two digs.
Kapaa’s junior varsity team also defeated Kauai High. The JV Warriors won all three sets, 32-30, 25-22 and 25-15.
In the night’s other boys volleyball contest, Waimea defeated Island School at home in straight sets.
Kapaa will play at Island School (0-7 KIF, 0-1 2nd round) and Kauai High will host Waimea (5-2 KIF, 1-0 2nd round) on Friday. The JV matches will begin at 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.