KAPAA — Kapaa High School’s varsity girls volleyball team defeated Kauai High, 3-1, Friday evening at home.
After dropping the opening set, Kapaa (8-2 KIF, 3-1 2nd round) went on to win the next three sets — 25-23, 25-16 and 25-18.
“They had a very slow start. Just wanted to see if they could rally back,” Kapaa head coach Evan Costa said. “We were down a bunch — a huge number. I just wanted to see if they had it in them to rally, try to work on things and stay in it — even though we’d possibly lose that game. So my thought was to just hang and see if we can work on what we got to work on. That was just the mindset.”
With a 22-15 lead in the fourth set, Warriors senior middle Paea Tafea scored three of the team’s last four points off a kill and two aces.
The Red Raiders scored three more points, capped off with a block by sophomore opposite Haley Iha, but a service error would award the Warriors the set and the match.
Warriors sophomore middle blocker Kaehukaiihaamainae Keala, too, mentioned the team’s struggles early on but then was able to work through it.
“We started off, really, kind of nervous. But throughout, we improved,” she said. “We’ve just been thinking, ‘Ball, setter, ball, hitter.’ We try to see how the ball is going to come before it’s hit. And we’re all just saying, ‘One point at a time,’ like coach taught us.”
Kauai High (6-4 KIF, 2-2 2nd round) won the night’s opening set — 25-16.
The Red Raider girls built a 9-1 lead early on. The Warriors got as close as four points, but the Raiders were able to carry the lead all the way through.
Kauai is now on a two-game losing streak, falling to Waimea in straight sets on Tuesday, and are now behind in the second round standings with two games left in the season.
“Even if we’re walking away with a loss, I still think the girls did really good,” said Kauai head coach Dorene Matias. “They showed that they had some courage coming back from a loss like Waimea. It took a lot, and they did really well. Both teams did really well tonight.”
Matias added she still believes her team can still be contention for the second round.
“We have to more games. We really got to work hard,” she said. “It can go either way. It still can. I’m not giving up hope, and I’m going to get the girls back to work on Monday.”
Keala totaled 13 kills for the Warriors. Tafea had eight blocks, five kills and four aces. Junior setter Rachel Pleas had 29 assists, a kill and a block. Junior outside hitter Keani Tolenoa had 11 kills and three aces. Senior libero Micaela Costa had three digs, three assists and two aces.
Red Raiders junior middle Rachel Curnan got seven kills and two blocks. Senior libero Tia Takasaki had 13 digs and three aces. Senior setter Kahe Degracia had nine assists, a dig and an ace. Junior middle Taegan Keep had four kills and a block. Sophomore middle back Jolea Kiilau-Pillos had four digs and three aces.
Kauai won the junior varsity match, winning all three sets — 25-18, 25-19 and 25-14.
In the night’s other Kauai Interscholastic Federation match, Waimea beat Island School in straight sets at home — 25-9, 25-8 and 25-21. Waimea also on the JV match in straight sets — 25-18, 25-8 and 25-9.
Kapaa will play at Waimea, and Kauai will play at Island School on Tuesday. The JV matches will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.