Boy’s Volleyball and Girl’s Softball teams step it up

Boy’s Volleyball and Girl’s Softball teams step it up

Jenna Nickl

Pitcher Chyler Imai and First Baseman Casey Utemei celebrate after picking a Konawaena runner off of firstbase

With spring sports season coming to an end, a couple of Kohala High School’s standout sports are striving for their place in playoffs. The boy’s volleyball team has been slamming team after team with their strong backcourt and outside hitters to remain undefeated. Out on the softball diamond, the girl’s softball team have surprised other teams in their league with their consistent pitching and improved hitting skills.  Both teams have proved that Kohala High athletes are top contenders for BIIF crowns and maybe, just maybe, could take it all the way to states.

After graduating important outside hitters last year, the boys’ volleyball team came into practice knowing they had to step it up. In early March, the boys traveled to Oahu for a preseason tournament where they placed 5th out of 20 teams beating out top contenders like Punahou. In regular season, the varsity and JV teams have gone undefeated overtaking challenging teams such as HPA, Kealakehe and Honoka’a. Some of the team’s most important players have been down due to grade check or injuries but the team still puts forward a strong line up. Senior Johnny Hiraoka, Juniors Kulia Aveiro-Kalaniopio, Elias Hood, Jory Ayoso-Fenandez and DJ Wong, and sophomore Mano Thomson are some of the stand out athletes that Coach Chai Wilson puts forward. Recently, the Cowboys were nominated for the prestigious top 10 boy’s volleyball teams in the state proving that the team is physically, statistically, and emotionally strong. They’ve recently completed a stretch of 3 away games and will host Kealakehe on Wednesday.

With a lot on the line last week, the Kohala Cowgirls Softball team took the win against their rivals, Honoka’a, to secure their title as Division II Regular Season Champions. Playoffs for the BIIF Championships start on April 19th but because of the Cowgirls high seeding they’ve earned a bye for their first playoff game. Their 9-2 record was not earned easily though. Standout pitchers Junior Chyler Imai and Sophomore Tiani Luga have been taking their turns striking out batter’s at home plate but both work the infield excellently as well. The talented infield team consists of Senior Brooke Kise, who didn’t play last season due to an ACL injury, Tahjra Alcoran and Kapoe Lewis, Juniors Casey Utemei, Jovi Antonio, Jordelle Antonio and Sophomore Sheana Cazimero. The outfield is manned by a strong group of upcoming standouts as well. As playoffs roll around, all the Cowgirls can do is play their best and hammer the ball.

As regular seasons slowly roll to a halt, the boy’s volleyball and girl’s softball teams are just getting started. Putting forward great displays of determination, perseverance and teamwork, the athletes can only go up from this point. Cowboy and Cowgirl fans from across Kohala, Big Island and even the state can only hold their breaths as playoff season looms around the corner.