Tolenoa named girls volleyball POY

As voted for by the coaches, this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball all-stars have been chosen.

The list of high school standouts was released by the league Tuesday afternoon.

Kapaa High School junior outside hitter Keani Tolenoa was named Player of the Year. Tolenoa wasn’t available for comment Wednesday.

Kapaa varsity girls volleyball head coach Evan Costa said it was a toss-up between Tolenoa and his senior middle blocker Paea Tafea, but Tolenoa got the nod because she also contributed in other facets of the game.

“Keani, she contributed a little more as a passer and a server. But she was equal offensively as Tafea. … Just two different types of packages,” Costa said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “‘Ani is a very talented girl. She’s talented. It was definitely a close vote between the two.”

Kapaa, which won a second consecutive KIF championship with a 10-2 regular season record, makes up a majority of this year’s list.

Also named an all-star from Kapaa are: Tafea, sophomore outside hitter Kaehukaiihaamainae Keala, junior setter Rachel Pleas and senior libero Michaela Costa.

Coach Costa was also named Coach of the Year.

“To do it a second time was a different kind of stress,” Costa said of repeating as league champs. “Knowing we had to bring in a new, at least six brand new players, it’s just a lot of unknowns. But overall, I’m very proud. Our success came down to our leadership of our girls — our captains. They’re the ones who brought in the new players and led by example.”

Kauai High School junior outside hitter Rachel Curnan is the only Red Raiders all-star.

“What made her an all-star this year, her work ethic. I think she had a great work ethic,” said Kauai High head coach Dorene Matias. “She was a very competitive player. The stats showed that as well. She was a good leader on the court and off the court. She’s a very positive player.”

As a team leader, Matias described Curnan as a player who leads with both communication and with her play on the court.

“She does both. It’s verbal and action. She’s not perfect. No one is. But she has room to grow,” she said. “I think it’s going to be interesting to watch her grow with this game.”

Menehune senior middle blocker Shania Kahepuu is the lone representative of Waimea High School.

Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza said Kahepuu has been involved with the school’s girls volleyball since before she was in high school.

“She’s been our manager ever since she was in the seventh grade,” he said. “She understood our program and what’s expected from each player. She wants to gets challenged. In fact, she’s been challenged every game and every drill. She’s also a hard worker.”

Delanoza added one thing he’ll miss most about her how she’s always smiling even in tough situations.

“Just her being around and always smiling, I’ve seen her grow from a girl of few words and less of a smile, to opening up and maturing to being a young lady,” he said. “As we see all these young women go through the program, it’s all part of the growing process. They tend to loosen up more.”

Kapaa’s girls volleyball team is on Oahu for the New City Nissan Girls Volleyball State Championships — Division II tournament.

The unseeded Warrior wahine took on Hawaii Preparatory Academy of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in the opening round Wednesday evening at Kaimuki High School in Honolulu. Results of that opening match was not available by press time.

“They’re excited. I think they’re just kind of loose right now,” Costa said prior to the match against HPA. “We’re just getting our rest in and doing some errands. We’re going to try to touch the ball for a little while — probably get in an hour (to) an hour-and-a-half practice before tonight’s game, and see what happens. Hopefully, the Warrior girls show up early, get a good jump and go from there.”

Outside hitter

Keani Tolenoa, Kapaa, junior

Kaehukaiihaamainae Keala, Kapaa, sophomore

Rachel Curnan, Kauai, junior

Middle blocker

Paea Tafea, Kapaa, senior

Shania Kahepuu, Waimea, senior


Rachel Pleas, Kapaa, junior


Michaela Costa, Kapaa, senior

Player of the Year

Keani Tolenoa, Kapaa, junior

Coach of the Year

Evan Costa, Kapaa


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