Kapaa High School’s varsity girls volleyball team placed fourth at the New City Nissan Girls Volleyball State Championships – Division II tournament.
The Warriors (12-4 overall, 10-2 KIF) lost to Damien Memorial of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 2-0 — 25-14 and 25-22 — Saturday afternoon at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
“It’s disappointing. We didn’t show up like we did in the Waianae game,” Kapaa head coach Evan Costa said in a phone interview Saturday. “Too bad, but it was great. Really great.”
Senior middle blocker Paea Tafea was Kapaa’s leading scorer Saturday with five kills and four blocks. Junior outside hitter Keani Tolenoa had two kills and two blocks. Junior setter Rachel Pleas had nine assists.
“We wouldn’t have come this far. One of the main factors is our leadership on our team,” Costa said. “I’ve never had a team like this where we had leadership that actually ran the team. So, it’s one thing to lead in the weight room or lead in academics. But to continually pull the team together every day and hold them accountable, keep them on track and keep them focused, really it was our leaders.
“And our No. 1 leader was Paea Tafea. She kept pushing our girls, pushing our leaders, to step up. So, that is really our success of our season. Very rare. It’s awesome how we’ve come this far,” he continued.
Prior to Saturday’s match, Kapaa lost to No. 1 seed Hawaii Baptist Academy, also of the ILH, in straight sets — 25-11, 25-8 and 25-21 — in the semifinals Friday evening at Kaimuki High School.
Kapaa finished the state tournament with a 2-2 record. The Warriors won their opening round match against Hawaii Preparatory Academy of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation on Wednesday, 3-1 — 25-9, 19-25, 25-20 and 25-19.
Kapaa then came from behind to win its quarterfinals match versus No. 4 seed Waianae of the Oahu Interscholastic Association on Thursday, 3-2 — 25-9, 20-25, 14-25, 25-20 and 15-9.
Costa said that win over Waianae to advance to the semifinals was the best moment of the tournament.
“I knew if our girls played their best and Waianae played their best, it would have been a really good thing,” he said. “To be honest, I was surprised. … We dug ourselves in a deep hole, but we settled down and battled back.”
Waianae placed fifth in the competition, defeating Konawaena of the BIIF, 2-1 — 25-19, 16-25 and 15-11. OIA’s Roosevelt won the consolation final over Hawaii Prep, 2-1 — 25-20, 24-26 and 15-13.
Le Jardin of the ILH defeated Hawaii Baptist for the Division II state championship, 3-2 — 14-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-25 and15-7.
Results from Hawaii High School Athletic Association