Kapaa senior Nice named POY

Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball enjoyed a successful season in 2016.

The Warriors boys were undefeated in the regular season en route to winning the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship. The team also claimed third place at the New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Championships – Division II state tournament.

Though the season wrapped up more than a week ago, the team can take pride in a few more accolades.

“As a whole, I think it’s a reflection of all their individual hard work for all of those that won,” Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona said Monday. “It’s pretty much spread across the board — one senior, two juniors and one freshman. It’s not like it was all of our seniors that won. The different classes, there was a wide range of that.”

As voted for by the league’s coaches, the KIF boys volleyball all stars have been selected. Five members of the Warriors squad are listed among Kauai’s high school standouts.

Kapaa senior outside hitter Max Nice was named the Player of the Year.

“I’m pretty stoked, but I feel like I won this award because of my team,” Nice said. “They all helped me get better throughout the years. I dedicate it to my team and to my coaches.”

Kaona said of Nice: “He’s just a complete person, a complete player. He does everything. He doesn’t only excel on the court, but as well off the court. … This is his third year playing on the varsity team. He knows what I expect. He’s been around me and this program for three years. His leadership is second to none.”

Also on the list from Kapaa are junior outside hitter Carson Schmick, junior middle Saxsen Shiira and freshman libero Pomai Rabago-Kaiwi.

In addition, Kaona was selected as the KIF Coach of the Year. His 14-1 overall — 12-0 in the KIF season and 2-1 at the Division II state tournament. The lone loss was during the semifinals versus the No. 1 seed and eventual Division II state champion Hawaii Baptist Academy of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.

“I accept the award humbly, but I’m definitely amongst great company,” Kaona said. “That award, I share it with my assistant coaches. I have five assistant coaches. I cannot and will not accept all the credit. It definitely takes a village, and the coaching staff definitely is that village that helps me prepare these boys. I have to share the success with them.”

KIF runner-up Waimea has two student-athletes on the all star list — sophomore middle blocker Jacob Delos Reyes and junior setter Carl Mecham. Waimea was 8-4 in the KIF season.

“It’s awesome. I’m excited,” Delos Reyes said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it because of my grade, my age, and because there’s a lot of good players out there. … It mean’s a lot. It’s like I accomplished something big.”

Mecham said about the accolade: “Volleyball is my main sport ever since I started my high school career. It’s been my goal to be recognized now that I’m a junior (and soon to be) senior, and to help me and hopefully get to play volleyball later in college.”

Kauai High has one standout on the all star roster — junior outside hitter Tyron Libarios-Moses. Kauai High was 4-8 this past regular season.

“It was surprising. I’m grateful that I was chosen, but it was mostly surprising,” Libarios-Moses said Sunday. “It feels good.”

Outside hitter: Carson Schmick, Kapaa, junior

Outside hitter: Tyron Libarios-Moses, Kauai, junior

Outside hitter: Max Nice, Kapaa, senior

Middle blocker: Saxsen Shiira, Kapaa, junior

Middle blocker: Jacob Delos Reyes, Waimea, sophomore

Setter: Carl Mecham, Waimea, junior

Libero: Pomai Rabago-Kaiwi, Kapaa, freshman

Player of the Year: Max Nice, Kapaa, senior

Coach of the Year: Kapule Kaona, Kapaa

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