Warriors start season 2-0, top Waimea in 4 sets

WAIMEA — Two games into the new season, and the Warriors have started their season with two wins.

Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team (2-0 KIF) defeated Waimea, 3-1, Friday evening at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium in Waimea.

“Very pleased to be able to walk away with a win tonight,” said Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona. “It wasn’t an easy win. It wasn’t a pretty win. Hats off to Waimea. It’s always tough to come into their home to play them. They have good a good fan support base. They’re very scrappy, very defensive minded and they’re never going to give up and roll over.”

After giving up the first set, Kapaa went on to win the next three — 25-19, 25-18 and 25-17.

Despite the win, however, Kaona said the team did not play up to his expectations.

“I was not pleased with their play tonight, and that was our talk (in the locker room),” Kaona said. “We did not perform well in any aspect of our game. In our passing, setting, hitting and serving, we had too many errors. Too many errors. Even though we walked away with a win, there was too many errors we caused for ourselves.

“I think what happened throughout the night was that we made less errors,” he continued. “Not to take anything away from Waimea. They definitely made us work for every point, but we made too many errors all night long. The only thing we did better was that we made less errors as the night progressed.”

Warriors senior outside hitter Carson Schmick got the match-winning kill for Kapaa in the fourth set. Senior setter Jayson Hawthorne got the assist.

Hawthorne, too, said the team didn’t play as well as it could have.

“We squeaked it out, but we definitely should have played a lot better,” the Warriors setter said. “There was a lot of mistakes on our part — just simple mistakes that we can fix. We’ll fix it later on, but we definitely didn’t meet the bar. We didn’t meet our own standards tonight.”

Communication, in particular, was what caused problems for the team, he added.

“Just talking. I think if we just speak, talk and work together as a team, all these little things will clean up and we’ll play a lot better,” Hawthorne said.

Waimea (1-1 KIF) won the night’s opening set, 28-26.

“I’m really happy with the way we played,” said Waimea head coach Alton Shimatsu. “When you see Kapaa walk into the gym, it’s pretty intimidating. But our boys stepped up and they stuck to the game plan.”

“We weren’t trying to come in and smash on Kapaa. They’re a big team, and they’re an athletic team,” he added. “We just had to play our game, which was defense. I feel like we did it, and we just need to clean up the small stuff in order to perfect things.”

Shimatsu also said from what he’s seen in the past two games, he expects to have a successful season.

“Considering that they haven’t really even played another high school team before, they’re doing just fine,” he said. “As long as we keep coming to practice and put in the work, we’ll be right up there in the season. I have no doubts we can compete with this small team.”

In the night’s other Kauai Interscholastic Federation match, Kauai High defeated Island School over five sets — 25-11, 25-18, 23-25, 22-25 and 15-7.

The Red Raiders also won the junior varsity contest against the Voyagers — 25-13, 23-25 and 25-17.

Kapaa will next play at Kauai High (1-1 KIF) on Tuesday. The JV match will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

Waimea’s varsity team will play at Island School at 6:30 p.m.

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