LIHUE — The Red Raiders notched their first win of the season.
Kauai High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Island School in straight sets Friday night at the Kauai High School gym.
“It always feels good to win. I’m not going to lie. It really doesn’t matter who we’re playing. A win is a win,” said Kauai head coach Enoch A‘ana. “I think that boosts the confidence with the boys, but you know, we still have a lot of growing to do. They just got to keep playing hard. I see a difference. When they practice hard, results show. Tonight, I played every single one of them off the bench. That was my goal, to ensure that everybody was able to experience a win as a team.”
Kauai (1-2 KIF) won at home — 25-13, 25-12, 25-16.
A lot of the scoring, though, came from unforced errors on both sides.
“That’s what I told them in (the locker room). I said regardless of what the score shows, there was a lot of errors,” A‘ana said. “I kept all the stats. There’s just a lot of errors on our part — service errors. So, as the stats show, there’s a lot of cleaning up we have to do in those areas. We just got to make sure we bring all of that into practice and get ready for our next game.”
Island School (0-3 KIF) briefly held a lead when the team scored the first point in the third set on an ace by Kaohu Ranis.
Kauai then got a 2-1 lead when Bryden Ibaan scored a kill and an ace. The Red Raiders held the lead through to the end.
“We’re a young team, and a lot of these kids have not played,” said Island School head coach Erin Nitta. “What we have been doing is making sure we’re doing more detailed work. I think the boys were really thinking about those details — about where exactly I need to be and how many steps I need to take before I’m in somebody else’s position.
“Throughout the week, we’ve been doing classroom work. So basically, we sit down, I get on the whiteboard and they’re taking notes. I think there was just a lot of overthinking things. As you saw in the second and third set, they kind of let go a little bit and just played. We told the boys, ‘Just play.’ That’s why it was a pretty rough start to this game.”
With three games played now, Nitta added she’s settled more into what her team’s lineups are.
“The last three matches, we have been switching up the positions — trying people in different areas and seeing what they got because a lot of these kids haven’t played before,” Nitta said. “It’s just basically putting all the pieces together. That put a lot of prospective — playing the three schools, and seeing who can move, who can block, who can hit and all that.”
A‘ana said for his team, this season is “do or die.”
“We have eight seniors on our team, and these are my first four-year seniors. I’ve had them since freshman year,” A‘ana said. “I know they really want it. So, I’m trying to say that you can want as much as you want, but if you’re not willing to work for it, then there’s no purpose.
“I just want these kids to know that every day they come to practice is one less day of their season. They got to take every day as if it’s their last. We’re three games in, and we have nine more to go. Every game that’s played is their last of their high school season. I really want them to go out with a bang and leave everything on the court.”
Ibaan finished with three aces, seven assists and one kill for Kauai, all in the third set. Kauai’s Rence Soriano ended with three kills, eight assists, two aces and a block. Keane Tibon had three kills, an ace and a block. Kaimani Tecson and Justin Bolosan each had three kills.
Ranis ended with one ace and one assist for Island School. Asa Hatcher had three kills and two blocks for the Voyagers. Alae Miike and Aidan Offley each had three kills. John Bancroft had 10 assists.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.