[ HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL ]
No. 9 Kapaa gets historic KIF title
So what's 35 years between league championships anyway?
What it is, is an entire generation of Kapaa volleyball players never knowing the sweet taste of a Kauai Interscholastic Federation crown -- until now.
Kapaa, which moved up one notch to No. 9 in today's Star-Bulletin Girls Volleyball Top 10, got more than a victory on Saturday. By sweeping Waimea, the Warriors clinched their first KIF girls volleyball crown since 1970.
That's saying a whole lot in a league that has only three teams. For more than two decades, Waimea dominated the league by winning title after title until Kauai broke the string. Kapaa was still in the shadows until last season, nearly getting past Kauai for a state tournament berth.
The young Warriors are much more mature this season with a record of 7-0 in league play.
"Jeez, we all feel really good. You can't help but notice how big it is," third-year head coach Kaipo Kealalio III said last night. "We get overlooked a lot, but I think the girls understand they'll be remembered for a long time."
The Warriors are led by senior outside hitter and team captain Amniesty Ragsac. Outside hitter Poe Rava, middle blocker Brittney Carvalho and setter Joliann Arzadon, all juniors, anchor the team.
How far back is 1970? Well, Richard Nixon was president and John Burns was governor.
The National Football League, with 16 teams, merged with the 10-team AFL to form the new NFL.
Gasoline was just 36 cents per gallon, well before the energy crisis to come.
Kealalio wasn't even born yet. The former UC Irvine player, 26, has roots on Oahu but moved at 3 to Kauai.
His father, the late Kaipo Jr., was a football coach at Aiea before transplanting. He was the one who coached volleyball at Kapaa first.
Kaipo III returned from his collegiate career to help his father and wound up staying. They formed Hokuao Volleyball Club, one of three on Kauai.
That year-round dedication is growing and paying dividends for Kapaa.
"I run them into the ground and they keep coming back for more," Kealalio said.