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New Kaua‘i High School gym stirs volleyball excitement

LIHU‘E — The new Kaua‘i High School gymnasium stirred excitement into the world of Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation sporting events on Friday, when the facility debuted with the Kaua‘i High School girls volleyball teams hosting the Kapa‘a High School Warriors.

“The girls have been working in the new gym for the past week-and-a-half,” said Kaua‘i High School Athletic Director Keli‘i Morgado. “They went to visit the boys basketball practicing in the old gym, and following that visit, they said, ‘The old gym is like a dungeon.’”

The new gymnasium will host all four KIF varsity girls volleyball teams on Thursday when television crews from OC16 will be broadcasting the contests from the new facility that sports a new action scoreboard similar to the one at Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

The Island School varsity, winners over Waimea on Friday night in four sets, will be meeting the Kapa‘a High School varsity, which lost a five-set heartbreaker on Friday night. The junior varsity match stars at 5:30 p.m., followed by Kaua‘i High School and Waimea Menehune varsity girls at 7:30 p.m.

Earlier on Friday, the Menehune split its series against Island School in a meeting at Wilcox Gymnasium on the Island School Puhi campus.

The junior varsity Menehune prevailed, 2-1, after dropping its second set, 24-26 against the Lady Voyagers. The Waimea squad was in control on the first and third sets, 25-18 and 25-14.

On the varsity courts, the varsity Menehune ladies rebounded from a first set loss, 15-25, to take the second set 25-23. Island School came back to take the third and fourth sets 25-19 and 25-17.

At the new gymnasium, host Kaua‘i JV got swept by the visiting Lady Warriors, 15-25, 20-25 and 20-25, while trying to adjust to the new-found spaciousness of the new facility that found at least six Red Raider students manning the grounded and mobile video cams providing vignettes on the action scoreboard.

Kapa‘a coach Tori Tuttle brought new talent to her lineup that brought game-hardening experience from its previous win over Kaua‘i.

That was not enough to get the Lady Warriors past the Red Raiders. The addition of a near-capacity fan support, a live band and the new facility stirred enough adrenaline into the varsity girls, who won 25-22, 21-25, 13-25, 25-23 and 15-13.

Trailing 16-21 in the fourth set, Kaua‘i’s Mackenzie Nii served up six unanswered points to give the Lady Raiders a 22-21 lead only to have a Raider service error knot the contest at 22-22. A Kapa‘a service error broke the deadlock and a Katelyn Lopes whack pushed Kaua‘i up 24-22 before Kapa‘a dropped on a passing error.

Taking the 13-11 lead behind a Keira Caoagas bang, Kaua‘i fell to a 13-13 stalemate in the fifth set on a Kapa‘a block. The Red Raiders responded to the stalemate with a block of their own, and another Warrior passing error sealed the night at 15-13.

The Raiders host the Voyagers at its new gymnasium on Tuesday night, while Waimea makes its first meeting against Kapa‘a at Bernice Hundley Gym. The JV games serve up at 5:30 p.m. at both sites with the varsity games following 25 minutes after the completion of the JV contests.
Source: The Garden Island

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