KAPAA — The Kapaa High School boys volleyball team, finishing the Division II state tournament in second place last year, roared back onto the floor of the Bernice Hundley Gym, Tuesday to sweep the Kauai High School program during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation boys volleyball games.
Led by the efforts of Kiran Costa and Justin Faidley, Kapaa took the Kauai varsity program in straight sets — 25-18, 25-15, and 25-21.
Earlier in the evening, the junior varsity Warriors claimed its victory in straight sets over the Red Raider JV, 28-26, 25-20, and 25-21.
“The boys did good, tonight,” said Kapaa coach Kapule Kaona. “They enjoyed a great first and second sets, but couldn’t finish in the final set. Things got a little lackadaisical.”
A Kauai dink up the middle put the Raiders up 10-9 in the first set. But Faidley slammed back from the middle, and a Costa bang and a Faidley block put Kapaa up, 13-10.
Kapaa controlled the second set, pulling up as much as 21-9 when Kauai hit into an error and Costa powered a shot.
Keane Tibon and Samuel Asano answered for Kauai, but was plagued by a service error, Kapaa’s Kesomi Fonua putting the nail in the coffin on a slam from the back row.
“Kudos to Kapaa,” said Kauai coach Enoch A‘ana. “They’re well-coached, very respectful on the court, and starting to gel nicely as a team. We just need to learn how to close. The boys get into a panic situation and it becomes a downward spiral.”
The Raiders opened the final set on a strong note with Rence Soriano getting a hit and an ace.
But errors showed its face and Kapaa setter Rusdan-Rocket Ahuna dumped the ball up the middle to knot the match at 3-3.
The match see-sawed until a Raider service error gave Kapaa a 20-19 lead. The Raiders did not relent, and facing a 23-20 gap, went to Kysen Parongao slamming down the line for the 23-21 chase.
Robert “Ali‘i” Brown came off the bench for the 24th point before Faidley put the game away on a slam up the middle.
“We cleaned up a lot of things from our opening game with Island School,” Kaona said. “We made a lot of errors, and we worked on that during practice. We still made passing and service errors. But the most important thing is learning how to finish.”
Kapaa next travels to the Clem Gomes Gym where they will face Waimea on Friday for the first time this season. Junior varsity serves up at 5 p.m. with the varsity contest going off after 6:30 p.m.
Kauai High School will host Island School at the Kauai High School gym in a single varsity match starting at 6:30 p.m.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.