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Voyagers earn KIF volleyball title, prep for state tournament

PUHI — The Island School boys volleyball needed five sets to earn the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation boys volleyball title Tuesday night at the Wilcox Gymnasium on the Island School campus.

Playing before a near-capacity crowd of loud and excited fans, the Voyagers, holding the KIF first round crown, dropped its first set 19-25 when Kapa‘a High pulled away from a 16-16 deadlock on a Kala Rall hammer and never looked back. Kapa‘a iced the win on an Island School hitting error.

That sting woke the Voyagers, who came back to take the second set 25-21. Kapa‘a answered by taking the third set, 25-15, and Island School forced the fifth set on a late-game string of points served up by Josh Dobashi for the 25-22 win.

During the fourth set, Voyager coach Tony Magaoay started changing faces on the floor when Bohdi Jones got a resounding cheer for the team’s No. 8 point behind Jones’ whack. The Voyagers also got nice looks from backrow specialist Kash Lanini and Reed Brown in the outside hitter puka.

In the third set, Kapa‘a showed well, being led by a pivotal block from Moku Tolenoa, one of the shortest middles in the KIF.

The Warriors got productive touches from James Kessler, Kala Rall with help from Anthony Durocher, and the setting by Vince Noguchi.

The Voyagers jumped to a 5-1 lead in the fifth set before Kapa‘a coach Kapule Kaona called a time out to ground the Warriors.

Relying on the hitting of Michael Fitzgerald and Dylan Date, the Voyagers held off the Warriors until the contest stalemated 10-10 on back-to-back Kala Rall bangs. Both teams exchanged points until the contest knotted 14-14 on a James Kessler whack.

But Dobashi came back with back-to-back slams that gave Island School first an advantage followed by the game, 16-14 that brought the KIF trophy to the Voyagers’ showcase.

Despite the full plate of talent, there was no second chance for the Warriors because the playoff became reality after the Voyagers dropped to Waimea in four sets Friday and the Warriors took five sets to get past Kaua‘i High School.

The Voyagers next prepare to participate in the 2022 New City Nissan Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division II boys volleyball championships that will contest on O‘ahu, May 5 through 7, culminating with the championship match, May 7 at the Blaisdell Center Arena.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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