Kapaa volleyball boys unbeaten through 7 matches

LIHUE — The Warriors have carried their winning streak to seven.

Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Kauai High on Tuesday evening at the Kauai High gym.

Kapaa (7-0 KIF, 1-0 2nd round) kicked off the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season’s second round winning in straight sets — 25-22, 25-15 and 25-19.

“This second round, coming into tonight, I wanted to try to increase our level of play. Just increase everything in general,” said Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona. “Up the ante a little bit in our mental play, our focus and things that we do. Now, we have to turn it up.

“We’ve been through three weeks already. Everybody’s seen what we got and what we can do. Now, it’s just (about) trying to challenge ourselves a little more, to push the level on these boys,” he continued. “So, we’re being a lot more tough and strict with them as far as what we’re expecting from them in this go around.”

After winning by a slight margin in the opening set, the Warriors won the second by double-digits. Senior setter Jayson Hawthorne got the set-winning kill off a block.

In the third set, the Warriors found themselves in an unfamiliar place — playing from behind.

Back-to-back points off blocks by Red Raiders middle blocker Kaimi Texeira and and a kill by sophomore outside hitter Kaiwi Rivera gave Kauai High (4-3 KIF, 0-1 2nd round) a 15-12 lead.

“The great thing about that is that it’s good. It challenges us — to have to fight, be able to push and come from behind,” Kaona said. “The thing is we’re creating that situation. We’re making the errors. We’re letting them in.”

Kapaa then came from behind to win the set and complete the sweep. Warriors senior outside hitter notched five kills to get the team out of the early deficit.

“I think it’s just the support we have all around. In the crowds, in our bench, everybody in our whole team supports one another,” Napoleon said of working out of the deficit. “Just being able to pick each other up after each play is, I think, what keeps us motivated and drive to keep pushing each other.”

With the team still being unbeaten up to this point, Napoleon hopes the team will be able to go through the season without a loss.

“That’s the goal. It’s always the goal to be unbeaten,” he said. “We don’t want to take a break. Being unbeaten is something we though of from the beginning of the season. If we’re losing, it’s because of us. We’re the ones making the mistakes.”

Napoleon had 12 kills and a dig for Kapaa. Hawthorne had 33 assists, a kill and an ace. Senior outside hitter Carson Schmick had 16 kills and two digs. Senior middle Saxsen Shiira had eight kills.

Rivera had six kills for Kauai High. Texeira totaled three kills. senior outside hitter Tyron Libarios-Moses led the team with seven kills and a dig. Senior setter Jhay-Carl Miguel had 14 assists, a kill and a dig. Freshman libario Rence Soriano had nine digs.

Kauai High head coach Enoch A’ana was not available for comment after Tuesday’s match.

Kapaa also won the junior varsity contest. The JV Warriors won all three sets — 25-21, 25-23 and 25-21.

Kapaa will host Waimea, and Kauai High will host Island School on Friday. JV matches will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

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