Red Raider girls win on senior night
LIHUE — The Red Raider girls got one more win at home to close out their 2018 season.
Kauai High School’s varsity girls volleyball team defeated Island School in straight sets at Kauai High on Friday night — 25-16, 25-20, 25-17.
“The whole team’s really emotional, especially the seniors,” said Red Raiders senior middle Hailey Iha. “We played four years together. The coaches really told us to make the most out of our last game, although we cannot go to states. We wanted to make it a really fun game that we would enjoy and remember.”
Red Raiders senior outside hitter Tiana Manera closed Friday’s match with an ace to clinch the home win.
The Red Raiders team, though, didn’t celebrate the win right away. Some of the players had a look of shock on their faces when the final point was scored.
Iha said the team intended on setting up senior setter Kaytlyn Perlas for a hit. That plan didn’t go accordingly after Manera’s ace.
“Kaytlyn, she really wants to be a hitter. So, we agreed that last point, someone would step in and set her the ball so she could get a hit,” Iha said. “But since the ball didn’t come back over, she didn’t get to hit.”
Kauai High ended its Kauai Interscholastic Federation season with an 8-4 overall record, going 4-2 in the second round. The Red Raiders end as the season runner-up to league champion Waimea High School (11-1 KIF, 6-0 2nd round).
Friday was Kauai’s senior night. Eight Red Raider seniors were recognized: Iha, Manera, Perlas, defensive specialist Tyra Oshiro, outside hitter Maria Gojkovic, libero Jolea Kiilau Pillos, defensive specialist Shawnee Tehero and middle Rebecca Zenger.
Iha has played varsity for three years for Kauai High School.
“We had so many memories, so many laughs from team bonding. We always just have fun practice,” Iha said of her and the other seniors. “Coach says she feels that we’re the team that has the most fun at practice because we just make the most out of practices and games.”
Iha led Kauai with a game-high 15 kills. Gojkovic had nine kills and a block. Perlas recorded six aces.
Island School held a lead during the middle part of the second set. Voyagers junior middle blocker June Hsu scored a kill to give Island a 16-11 lead.
Kauai, though, then went on a seven-point streak to take a 17-16 lead. Gojkovic scored a kill to give Kauai the lead.
“Our win-loss record might not have been the greatest, but we ended on a good note,” said Island School head coach Kylie Silva. “We learned new things in each game and each practice. That’s what I really wanted from these girls — growth and just be better every day. I think we did that.”
For the last match, Silva said he switched a lot of his players to other positions. He said seeing how they played in other position could potentially help for next season.
“That was what my goal was — to see where we could put people for next year, see what they can do, see where they can really play,” he said. “It was a precursor to next year, but it was more for them to just have fun tonight.”
Island School ends its 2018 season with an 1-11 record, going 0-6 in the second round. Island’s one win this season was a 3-2 win over Waimea on Sept. 12.
“Very young team. Very inexperienced for varsity, but they’re very intelligent and very willing to learn,” Silva said. “They’re a good bunch of kids. They kept fighting no matter what. Even though they’re down on points, they’re not going to get on each other. They’re going to push each other to the end.”
Hsu recorded three aces and one kill for Island School. Voyagers junior outside hitter Ashley Mecham had six kills, two blocks and an ace. Sophomore opposite hitter Wailana Marvin had four kills, two blocks and an ace. Junior opposite hitter Katie Cook had five kills and a block.
Kauai High School varsity girls volleyball head coach Kehaulani Regidor was not available for comment following the match Friday.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.