Ka`u, Kamehameha-Hawai`i Earn BIIF Boys Volleyball Titles
Kamehameha-Hawai`i head volleyball coach Guy Enriques knows that next season, his team needs to learn how to win volleyball matches without Evan Enriques, who graduates after this season.
For now, Evan’s dad knows that in a chase for a state championship, his team will have to ride his son’s confident arm.
On Saturday night at Kealakehe High School, Evan was unstoppable. The Stanford commit tallied 27 kills as Kamehameha-Hawai`i swept Waiakea in three sets to earn the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I overall championship.
Set scores were 25-15, 25-16, and 27-25.
“I don’t care who’s across the net. He’s hard to stop,” said Guy Enriques of his son, Evan. “We make no bones about going to him with the amount of sets. We’ve been kinda trying to get other people involved throughout the year. We still need to do that, but when we need points, he’s the guy we go to, and that’s our bread and butter.
Evan Enriques added a pair of first set aces, helping to pull his team away from Waiakea in the opening set after trading points throughout the beginning of the set. He added several blocks and steady play in the back row to lead Kamehameha-Hawai`i to the league’s overall championship.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i (13-0) opened up a large lead in the second set and kept Waiakea away, but the third set was a much different challenge. Waiakea started the third with a 6-1 scoring advantage. The champions, however, will methodically climb back, eventually tying the set off of an ace from junior Emmett Enriques, which hit the top of the net and died on the Waiakea side of the floor.
“We went away from the game plan that we started out the first two sets, and that kinda hurt us,” Guy Enriques explained. “We let Waiakea get a taste of blood, and we know better than that.”
On the final point of the match, both teams raced around the court to keep play going, but Waiakea’s Kamalu Kaaa struck a cross-court shot wide left, sealing the league championship for Kamehameha-Hawai`i.
Waiakea (11-2) was led by senior Mamane Namahoe, who put down 11 kills. Kamahao Paio added six. Waiakea will travel for the first round of the New City Nissan / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division I Volleyball Championships, which start Friday with the regional semifinals.
Emmett Enriques added nine kills for Kamehameha-Hawai`i. The BIIF champion Warriors will host the opening regional round of the state tournament at Koai`a Gym. The entire tournament bracket will be released Sunday.
Waiakea 15 16 25 – 0
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 25 25 27 – 3
Division II Championship: Ka`u 3, Honoka`a 2
Ka`u High School is adding to its recent volleyball success under coach and alum Joshua Ortega.
Ortega was a senior when Ka`u made its first ever state tournament appearance in 2007. Five years later, he coached the girls volleyball team to its first ever BIIF championship. On Saturday, he coached the Trojans to its first league championship in boys volleyball.
Ka`u took a five-set thriller over Honoka`a, thanks to a monumental performance by junior Cameron Enriques, cousin of Kamehameha-Hawai`i standout Evan Enriques. The Ka`u junior swatted 29 kills, including the final two points of the final set, to carry the Trojans to the league title.
Enriques was aware of the historical moment for his school. “It means a lot. Just coming from a small school and winning that banner and plaque, it really means a lot.”
Ka`u (7-6) seemed to take control late in the first set, holding a 19-14 lead before the Dragons used a timeout. The stoppage worked for Honoka`a as the top seed in Division II tied the match with the next five points.
Both teams traded points the rest of the way in the set, leading to extra volleyball. Honoka`a won the first set after a lift was called on the Trojans.
Ka`u recovered quickly, winning the next two sets in to take the 2-1 advantage into the fourth frame. Honoka`a, however, showed the resiliency of a team that, a week prior, beat the Trojans in five sets to close the regular season. The Dragons held a sizable early advantage in the fourth set and never let the Trojans back, sending the match to a fifth set.
In the fifth, Ka`u led by as much as four points before Honoka`a battled back, but Enriques closed it away with kills on the match’s final two points to seal the championship.
“When they were coming back, I was kinda worried,” Enriques said after the match. “But I had faith in my team that we were going to win.”
Shyrome Batin led a balanced attack for the Dragons, who finished BIIF play with an 8-5 record.. The junior opposite hitter tallied a team high 15 kills. Chance Salva added 11 kills while Cjay Carvalho picked up seven kills and two aces.
Larry-Dan Al-Navarro added 14 kills, and Brian Gascon served up five aces for Ka`u.The Trojans tallied nine service aces in the match.
The Trojans earned the league’s top berth to the New City Nissan / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division II Championships, despite Honoka`a winning the regular season title. Both schools will represent the BIIF in the state tournament, which begins May 8.
Ka`u 26 25 25 16 15 – 3
Honoka`a 28 17 20 25 13 – 2