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Warriors, Voyagers start second round with wins

LIHU‘E — The Kapa‘a High Warriors took their match in three sets, and Island School, the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation first round title holders, needed five sets to close the door against Kaua‘i High School Tuesday as the KIF started boys volleyball’s second round.

The Waimea High School Menehune were strong contenders with Island School for the first round title. But the Voyagers handed the Menehune their first season loss and the Waimea boys have not recovered as the team has lost four consecutive matches, including on Tuesday where they dropped 25-23, 25-22 and 25-22 to the Warriors at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapa‘a.

The Warrior win was not a cake walk, as Kapa‘a battled from behind in two of the three sets behind the power hitting of team captain Kala Rall, who combined with Nakoa Kimi, the hustling setting from Vince Noguchi and the middle efforts from Moku Tolenoa, whose results were a lot bigger than his smaller stature.

Waimea responded in the form of Ty Tsukayama leading the hitting with help from Isaiah Espanto, the setting from Jonah Sandal, and the explosive middle when Kelani Lewis rotated into the spot.

Waimea broke a 22-22 tie in the first set on a Kapa‘a service error, only to lose the side on a Kimi hit. Kaisen Brezee, getting solid hits throughout three sets, took the lead before Kimi closed the door, 25-22 in the first set.

Similarly in the second set, Waimea’s Espanto knotted the contest, 21-21, only to have Kapa‘a’s Kimi come up with a crowd-thrilling save. Kimi whacked another hit and Rall aced before Tsukayama ended the run only to keep the door open on a service error.

Earlier in the night, the Kapa‘a junior varsity took the series, 25-23, 25-23, and 21-25 over the Menehune JV.

Over at the Wilcox Gymnasium on the Puhi campus of Island School, Kaua‘i High split its series with the Voyagers after taking the JV series on scores of 25-14, 25-14 and 25-19, and dropping the varsity series in five sets, 25-27, 25-14, 20-25, 25-18 and 14-16.

The Tuesday night loss in five marks a pause in a comeback effort by the Raiders, who dropped the first four outings, including a five-set loss to Kapa‘a and a four-set loss to the Voyagers in the first round. Kaua‘i High was on a comeback track, winning its last two games, including a five-set win over Waimea and a win over Kapa‘a in straight sets.

Kapa‘a High next hosts Island School Friday at the Bernice Hundley Gym, where the first serve in the junior varsity contest serves up at 5 p.m. The varsity contest follows the conclusion of the JV games, but not earlier than 6:30 p.m.

Kaua‘i High School will make the trek to the Clem Gomes Gym to face the Menehune, when the first serve in the JV game starts at 5 p.m. followed by the varsity contest starting no earlier than 6:30 p.m.

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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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