Warrior boys place 3rd at state volleyball tournament

Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team placed third at the New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Championships – Division II state tournament.

The Warriors defeated Damien Memorial of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 2-0, in the tournament’s third place game Friday at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu — sweeping the Monarchs, 25-21 and 25-20.

“We’re very excited and very happy with how the season ended,” Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona said in a phone interview Friday. “We’re very proud of the way the boys played here at the tournament and how they represented themselves, their families, their school and the island. They represented Kauai very well.”

Kapaa started the second set with a 5-0 run en route to clinching third place.

Kaona said the team was especially motivated to deliver one more win for the seniors, as well as for teammate — freshman Rusdan-Rocket Ahuna — who is in California getting treatment for a brain tumor.

“I think that was a little bit of inspiration for them to do well,” he said. “They’re playing for those two things, and trying to send out the seniors on a good note. It wasn’t for the championship, but we wanted to finish the season off 14-1. That’s a huge accomplishment, and I’m very happy about that.”

Carson Schmick had five kills, nine digs, an ace and a block for Kapaa. Max Nice, Saxsen Shiira and Kurt Napoleon each had four kills. Jayson Hawthorne had 15 assists and six digs.

Damien’s Royce Isagawa was the game’s leading scorer with seven kills. Skyler Capllonch had four kills and three blocks. Jayvee Quines had four kills.

Prior to Friday’s match, Kapaa lost to No. 1 seed Hawaii Baptist Academy of the ILH, 3-0, Thursday evening at Farrington High School. The Warriors lost in straight sets to the Eagles — 25-21, 25-13 and 25-20.

“We came out well against them in the first set. We were going toe-to-toe. … The boys believed that, ‘Wow, we can hang.’ It gave them confidence,” Kaona said of Thursday’s contest. “It gave them hope and confidence, and the energy was very high.

“Then in the second set, we made a few errors. At that point, I think, the confidence level and the energy just dropped,” he continued. “It was low, and it stayed like that the entire match. It was hard to get that back, but we came out strong in the third set. … We had nothing to lose at that point. I think that’s what helped bring back that momentum in the third set.”

Nice had nine kills and a block for Kapaa in Thursday’s match. Schmick had four kills. Napoleon had three kills. Hawthorne had 17 assists. Pomai Rabago-Kaiwi had six digs.

Caleb Fisher had 21 kills and two aces for HBA on Thursday. Brett Miller had 13 kills and two aces. Davin Rausch had 41 assists. Dru Pang had 16 digs.

Kapaa finishes its season with a 14-1 record, going an unbeaten 12-0 during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation regular season and 2-1 in the state tournament.

Konawaena of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation placed fifth, defeating Farrington of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, 25-20 and 27-25, Friday.

HBA defeated No. 2 seed Molokai of the Maui Interscholastic League in the championship game, winning in straight sets — 25-16, 25-15 and 25-20.

Statistics from Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

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