KAPAA — The Warrior boys just keep rolling.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Kauai High in straight sets Friday evening at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa — 25-16, 25-9 and 25-20.
“I talk previously about in the second round trying to improve our play — improve on the things that we’ve already seen in the first round and taking things to the next level,” said Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona. “Tonight, I think, was a great example of seeing that. Tonight was maybe the first time that we, for the most part, stayed up in the game and improved every time.
“Past times, I’ve talked about staying up but we’ve gone down. We’d give up four or five points, then we’d go back up. We’d just go back and forth,” he continued. “For the most part, we were able to stay consistent throughout the entire night. And that’s what we’ve been trying to work on, that consistency level.”
In that second set, Kapaa (10-0 KIF, 4-0 2nd round) went on a 15-point run which included five aces by senior outside hitter Kurt Napoleon.
Warriors senior outside hitter Carson Schmick hit three consecutive aces of his own en route to the 16-point win.
“It feels like we’re all coming together. We all have a part to this team, and each part kind of showed up,” Schmick said. “That was the main reason for our success tonight. Props to Kauai High. They’ve been a really tough competitor. But we’re not done yet. We’ll keep practicing and get ready for Waimea on Tuesday.”
Kaona said while he believes the team has improved, he did not expect winning that second set by as wide a margin as they did.
“Obviously, every single team has gotten better throughout the season. So, I did not expect the kind of scores that we saw tonight,” he said. “But I don’t want to take away anything from the boys and the hard work that they put in. We had great practices this week — some of the best of the year.”
Kauai (5-5 KIF, 1-3 2nd round) then regrouped to play a more closely contested third set despite losing in a sweep.
Red Raiders senior outside hitter Tyron Libarios- Moses recorded five kills and an ace in the set.
“Everybody was hungry, but Kapaa was more hungry,” Libarios-Moses said. “We had a couple of good plays, but that was about it. We couldn’t get our passing down in that second set. They got 15 points on us. That 15 serves-streak, that’s what messed us up. In the third set, we tried to come back but it wasn’t enough.”
Kauai head coach Enoch A’ana was not with the team Friday evening. Assistant coach Sandi Acob declined to comment after the match.
Schmick had 15 kills, three aces and four digs for Kapaa. Napoleon had nine kills, six aces and two digs.
Warriors senior setter Jayson Hawthorne posted a game-high 31 assists, an ace and a dig. Senior middle Saxsen Shiira had 12 kills and an assist.
Libarios Moses had eight kills, five assists, an ace and four digs for Kauai. Senior setter Jhay-Carl Miguel had nine assists and an ace. Freshman libero Rence Soriano had eight kills.
Kauai High won the junior varsity contest, 2-1 — 25-17, 25-17 and 20-25.
In the night’s other Kauai Interscholastic Federation match, Waimea defeated Island School at the Wilcox Gymnasium in Puhi, 4-1 — 25-17, 17-25, 25-10 and 25-22.
Kapaa will play at Waimea (5-5 KIF, 3-1 2nd round) at 6 p.m. Tuesday. A Warriors win will clinch Kapaa the KIF boys volleyball championship.
“Waimea’s a good team. We know they are. They have good defense,” Schmick said. “But like I said before, we’re just going to practice hard and see what happens Tuesday.”
Kauai High will play at Island School (0-10 KIF, 0-4 2nd round) on Tuesday. The JV match will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.
“I just want the team to play hard and try to win these next games,” Libarios-Moses said. “Our senior night, we have to go out with a bang. But yeah, that’s about it.”