Unbeaten in 2nd straight season

KAPAA — For a second consecutive regular season, the Warriors went undefeated.

Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Island School at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa on Friday evening to finish the season a perfect 12-0.

“It’s always great when you can finish a season without much hiccups — both on the court and off the court,” said Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona. “I’m very grateful and blessed to be a part of that, to be part of this school and this program. To get this win and finally say 12-0, an undefeated season and KIF (winners) two years in a row, there’s a lot to be said about that.”

The Warriors clinched the unbeaten season with a win over the Voyagers in straight sets — 25-16, 25-14 and 25-14.

Warriors senior outside hitter Carson Schmick capped off the home win with consecutive aces to win the final set.

“I realized it was my last serve in this game, in this gym,” Schmick said. “I said, ‘Just go for it.’ That’s basically it.”

Island School (0-12 KIF, 0-6 2nd round) briefly led early in the first set.

“It’s just, Kapaa played very well. And I’m from Kapaa High School,” said Island School head coach Brandon Wong. “Yes, Kapaa boys are tough. And Island School, we’re tough, too — just more of the attitude and working together as one, especially today’s game.”

Wong, who just completed his first season as varsity head coach at Island School, added he’s seen the team have good moments despite a winless record.

“I tell these boys, in practice and in every game, ‘Have a good attitude and just hustle. Just don’t give up,’” he said. “Getting down on yourself is pretty much pointless. All you got to do is pick yourself up and each other. That’s what teamwork is.

“I hope I showed these boys for Island School, in my first year, a good thing,” he continued. “To me, it was a good season. I learned a lot from the coaches (assistant coaches Ehren Edwards, Lehia Pomroy and Jen Pomroy). And these boys taught me something, too.”

Voyager senior middle blocker Jaden Hamid, who had one kill in Friday’s match, said playing the last three years varsity was worthwhile.

“It was just fun to come out and play my last year. I played all four years. Finished, not with a strong result, but with the result it’s still fun,” he said.

Schmick totaled 11 kills, five aces and a couple of digs for Kapaa. Senior middle Saxsen Shiira also had 11 kills including the game-winner in the second set.

Warriors senior setter Jayson Hawthorne got 26 assists and two kills. Senior outside hitter Kurt Napoleon had seven kills, three aces and three digs.

Voyagers sophomore outside hitter Kahea Kamalani totaled five kills, two aces and two digs for Island School. Junior setter Ryan Yavinsky had five assists and an ace. Sophomore opposite Reece Valencia had one kill and three digs.

Friday was Kapaa’s senior night. Seven Warrior seniors were recognized after the match: Schmick, Hawthorne, Shiira, Napoleon, middle Ka’ohu Gutierrez-Kelly, opposite Aukai Kessler and middle Joel Deblin.

“It’s very surreal,” Schmick said. “I remember my freshman year of volleyball. Walking in here and watching their senior night and thinking, ‘Wow, that’s a whiles away.’ And now it’s here. It’s hitting me pretty hard.”

Kaona said this class has a lot of experience and intangibles that will be missed.

“This class is very special. I’ve been with a lot of them for four years,” Kaona said. “Seeing them grow every single year, this has been probably one of the strongest classes I’ve ever had. Obviously, a lot of seniors. It’s a big class. They bring a lot of experience, a lot of talent, smarts and unity and togetherness.”

Kapaa will go on to compete in the New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Championships – Division II state tournament, which begins May 4 on Oahu.

“We’ve got a week and a half to prepare. So, we’re going to practice harder than ever,” Schmick said. “We’re really going for that title this year, and I think it’s very possible.”

In the night’s other Kauai Interscholastic Federation varsity boys volleyball match, Kauai High defeated Waimea at home in four sets — 26-24, 25-23, 23-25 and 25-22.

The Red Raiders finish the KIF season with a 7-5 overall record, going 3-3 in the second round. The Menehune finished with a 5-7 overall record, also going 3-3 in the second round.

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