KAPAA — Tropical Storm Olivia was not the only distraction to the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball games at Bernice Hundley Gym on Wednesday night when the crowd was obviously driven to stay off the highways and weather the storm at places other than the gym at Kapaa High School.
More distractions stirred the crowd of several hundred fans when text messages started popping up — Island School is winning!
Over at the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea, Island School was indeed winning, the varsity Voyagers taking a 2-1 lead over the Menehune to force a fourth set. The Menehune took the set, 25-23.
The Voyagers went on to take the fifth set and the match, 15-13, for its first win in the KIF girls volleyball season. The win also presented Waimea with its first loss.
Earlier in the night, Waimea’s junior varsity took its series against Island School, 25-13, 25-14, and 25-19.
Back to the Bernice Hundley, the Warrior JV were also winners, 25-11, 20-25, 25-14.
Kauai High School, continuing its strong play following its loss to Waimea on Saturday night, finished the night by finding its feet, 25-11, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15.
“We played everybody,” said Kauai coach Kehau Regidor. “This was an opportunity for the girls to prove themselves.”
The Raiders came out strong in the first set, breaking away from a 2-2 stalemate when Kaleonahe Bukoski served up a string of nine unaswered points, building to an 11-2 lead. These points were not from errors from Kapaa who gave up just two in the string, but led by the hitting and blocking of Kauai middle Hailey Iha before the Raiders turned the ball on a miscue.
“This was the best set the girls have had all season,” Regidor said. “We need more of these — all the time.”
The Warriors responded in the second set to build to a 12-7 margin behind hitting from Sydney Nice and a block from Talia Washington while the Raiders struggled with miscues.
“We started putting in new people in the set,” Regidor said. “The girls need to learn to play and trust anyone who is on the floor.”
Kauai clawed back from an 18-23 deficit behind an ace from Shawnee Tehero, a hit from Bukoski, and Kapaa errors to knot the contest, 23-23.
But the effort fell short as they closed the door on a Raider service error and hitting error, 25-23.
“This is a work in progress,” said Ari Logan, Kapaa coach. “The girls are still trying to learn, individually, while being a team. We had our moments, but there is still a lot to learn. The girls are still trying to find themselves in a team aspect.”
Kapaa next hosts Waimea on Saturday at the Bernice Hundley Gym to end Round 1. Kauai will travel to the Wilcox Gymnasium at Island School where the junior varsity game starts at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.