PUHI — The Warriors continue to roll.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Island School in straight sets — 25-14, 25-9, 25-8 — Tuesday at the Wilcox Gymnasium on the Island School campus in Puhi.
Kapaa (4-0 KIF) is unbeaten through the first four matches of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season.
“I think we’re just slowly progressing. I don’t think we’re as a team yet, playing good team volleyball yet,” said Kapaa head coach Kapule Kaona. “We’re still playing individual volleyball. Our goal, obviously, is to make small improvements and gelling as a team game by game. We’re not where I want us to be at the current moment. There’s still a lot of things we need to work out.”
During a part of the second set and most of the third set, Kaona opted to play his reserve players. Kapaa didn’t skip a beat.
“I was really excited for our B team. They came in, and they performed very well,” Kaona said. “Every single day, they push our A team during practice. Yeah, they’re not getting a lot of playing time against Waimea and Kauai High, but I love the way they came out and played with an expectation. I thought they performed very well.”
Island School (0-4 KIF) had a brief 1-0 lead in the second set on a kill by Bryce Leonard.
Kapaa leveled the score at 1-1 on a kill by Justin Faidley, and then took the lead on a kill by Kiran Costa. Kapaa kept the lead to the end.
“Even though the score did not reflect how well the boys did, tonight was basically (about) playing as a team,” said Island School head coach Erin Nitta. “They were holding each other up. That was a hard thing we battled — a lot of players in different positions tonight and just supporting each other through the new positions.”
She added: “We’re on spring break right now, so we’re missing a few players. So, that’s why we had to have some other players play in different positions. I honestly think the boys that stepped up to the positions did well. They learned quickly, they adapted well and they’re very coachable.”
Costa ended with six kills and two aces for Kapaa. Faidley had nine kills and an ace. Rusdan-Rocket Ahuna had 20 assists and one kill.
Leonard ended with a kill and an ace for Island School. Josh Dobashi had two kills and an ace. Dylan Date had a kill and a block.
Kapaa will play at Kauai High School (2-2 KIF) on Tuesday. The junior varsity match will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.
Island School will play at Waimea High School (2-2 KIF) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Warriors playing off-island
There are no scheduled KIF volleyball matches Friday. The reason is because Kapaa will compete at the Hawaii Boys Volleyball Invitational hosted by ‘Iolani School, which is scheduled Thursday through Saturday on Oahu.
Twenty teams will take part at the invitational including several from Oahu and the neighbor islands and from the mainland.
“This is some of the best teams in the nation that will be there at this tournament. It was something that I wanted to go to — to have our boys meet that kind of competition and experience that level of play,” Kaona said.
He added: “We’ve been invited the past couple of years, but we’ve never attended because it’s mid-season and we thought we’d never be able to work it out with the KIF schedule. But I reached out to the AD (athletic director) early — during girls season last year. He talked with the other ADs and got the OK for us to be able to move the schedule around. So, that’s the reason the KIF got shifted a little, because of our request to attend this tournament.”
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.