Warriors fall short to Saints for D2 title

The quest to clinch a state championship will have to extend at least one more year for the Warriors.

Kapaa High School’s varsity boys volleyball team lost in the championship match of the 2019 New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Championships-Division II state tournament.

The No. 2 seeded Warriors lost to No. 1 seed and defending Division II champion Saint Francis School of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, 3-1 — 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-12.

After up-and-up play during the first three sets, the Warriors found themselves in an uphill climb in the fourth.

After being down early, the Saints shot out with a 16-3 run to get a 17-9 lead.

A block by Saint Francis’ Lucas Biondi clinched the Saints their second consecutive Division II state championship.

Kiran Costa led Kapaa with 17 kills. Justin Faidley had seven kills, and Alaka’i Gonsalves had six. Rusdan-Rocket Ahuna had 32 assists. Pomai Rabago-Kaiwi had 12 digs.

Biondi totaled a match-high 19 kills for Saint Francis. Biondi also had 14 digs. Makua Marumoto had 16 kills. Jesus Garcia had 38 assists.

This was Kapaa’s third straight season reaching the state championship match, but the Warriors couldn’t close out to win that state title. Kapaa lost to Saint Francis this year and in 2018. In 2017, the Warriors fell to Hawaii Baptist of the ILH.

The last time Kapaa won the Division II state championship was in 2005 under then-coach Merrill Carvalho.

Kapaa ends its 2019 season with a 14-1 overall record. The Warriors were an unbeaten 12-0 en route to winning its fourth consecutive Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship and were 2-1 at the Division II state tournament.

Kapaa High School varsity boys volleyball head coach Kapule Kaona couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday.

Info from Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

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Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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