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Kapaa’s Costa awarded boys volleyball POY honors

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    Kapaa’s Kiran Costa (14) follows his shot past the Kauai tandem defense of Keane Tibon (12) and Kaimani Tecson (13) during a KIF varsity boys volleyball match at Kauai High School, in this April 20 photo.

KAPAA — The list for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation boys volleyball all-stars was released by the league Thursday. The nominees were voted for by the KIF coaches.

Kapaa junior outside hitter Kiran Costa was named Player of the Year.

“Definitely, I feel honored to be in this type of situation,” Costa said Thursday. “It was easy. To get this great honor, I’m totally stoked to be named Player of the Year.”

Costa has been one of the team’s offensive leaders throughout the season. He said it was because of his teammates and coaches that he was elevated.

“Those guys, without them I wouldn’t have this award,” he said. “Even on my downfalls or anybody else’s, when they were low, we picked each other up. That’s how we were able to be so successful. We became a tight brotherhood. It’s what made each player special and made our whole team special.”

Kapaa has five all-stars this year. Two Red Raiders from Kauai High School were also awarded all-star nods. Kaona was named Coach of the Year.

“I think, as I’ve preached all season long, it took every single person of this team to be able to get the success, which we did,” Kaona said. “I feel every single person on our team is deserving to be a KIF all-star. Obviously, there can only be a few boys that are picked for that. But I felt at any given day, I was comfortable with putting someone on the floor, be able to perform and have not too much of a drop-off.”

Kaona added of Costa gettting POY honors: “Him having the most kills, he probably had the most sets and most opportunities to get those kills. He was definitely an offensive threat, but what I want to say about Kiran is that he’s a hard worker in and out of the gym. … The great thing about it, even more so, is that he’s a humble kid. He never comes off as a showboat to his teammates and coaches as well to other teams. He’s just humble. He puts his head down, works hard and goes after what he wants.”

The Warriors had an 11-1 KIF record to win the school’s third consecutive league championship.

At the 2018 New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Championships–Division II state tournament, Kapaa was 2-1 and reached the championship match but lost in that match to settle for second place.

“I felt like we prepared well, and I still stick to that,” Kaona said. “However, one thing I want to improve upon is how do I get these boys more prepared to play at a big stage or under the big lights. I think that would be just the only thing, if anything, that I thought of that would be different.”

KIF Boys Volleyball All-Stars

Outside hitters: Kiran Costa, Kapaa, junior; Kaimani Tecson, Kauai, junior; Kaiwi Rivera, Kauai, junior

Middle blockers: Justin Faidley, Kapaa, sophomore; Robert Brown, Kapaa, junior

Setter: Rusdan-Rocket Ahuna, Kapaa, junior

Libero: Pomai Rabago-Kaiwi, Kapaa, junior

Player of the Year: Kiran Costa, Kapaa, junior

Coach of the Year: Kapule Kaona, Kapaa

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Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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