LIHUE — The Warriors are now 10-0.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Kauai High, 3-0, Friday evening in Lihue.
“I think we’re a different team than when we started before, and I even think from about two weeks ago, what we were talking about was our mental toughness,” said Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona. “It’s something we’ve been trying to work on — just coming in more mentally prepared and mentally focused.”
En route to winning in straight sets, Kapaa (10-0 KIF, 4-0 2nd round) won an extended first set, 28-26. Tied at 26 apiece, two kills by senior outside hitter Max Nice granted the Warriors the opening set.
Kapaa then won the second and third sets — 25-16 and 25-17 — to keep its undefeated streak intact.
“I think our communication went well. I think our mentality, keeping ourselves up and wanting to play for the team, I think that’s what was good about tonight,” said Warriors freshman libero Pomai Rabago-Kaiwi.
Kaona added: “I think it was a wake-up call for us in that first set. It was like, ‘Wow. They’re here to play. We can’t fool around. Come on, let’s buckle down.’ I think that’s what took place.”
Friday evening was Kauai High’s senior night. Eight Red Raider seniors were acknowledged following the match: Damien Butac, Branden Remigio, Quinten Mundon, John Agni, Abe Rivera, Braden Galiza, Travis Ornellas and Kekoa Tecson.
Red Raiders head coach Enoch Aana said despite the loss, it was still a memorable night.
“It’s my first year, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Aana said. “This year was really a good year. I’m just so proud to be part of it. The boys played their hearts out. I couldn’t ask for anything else. They played brilliantly.”
“What’s going through my head — the whole replaying back and looking at what I could have done to change it,” Butac said as the team continued celebrating its senior class. “We could have made up on a lot of things all around. It just didn’t go our way. We got to work twice as hard. We didn’t come up with it today, but still had a fun night.”
Enoch said of his seniors: “They’re a bunch of great kids. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch. You know, two of our key seniors were injured. I’m just grateful that everyone stepped up to the plate to play hard. They never stopped fighting. That’s all I could have asked from them.”
Nice had 18 kills, four digs and an ace for Kapaa. Junior setter Jayson Hawthorne had 31 assists, three kills and an ace. Junior outside hitter Carson Schmick had 10 kills, three digs and a block. Rabago-Kaiwki had two digs and an ace.
Butac had three kills, four digs and a block for Kauai High. Junior setter Tyron Libarios-Moses had 20 assists, two kills and an ace. Freshman middle blocker Joshua Rivera had nine kills. Junior middle blocker Tajh Mapuhi had three kills, an ace and a block.
Kapaa also won the junior varsity match, 2-1. The JV Warrior won the first two sets, 25-23 and 25-20.
The JV Red Raiders won the last set, 25-13.
Kapaa will host Island School and Kauai High (3-7 KIF, 1-3 2nd round) will play at Waimea on Tuesday. The JV matches will begin at 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.