KS-Hawaii coach Guy Enriques: ‘We had a chance, we let Punahou off’

Kamehameha Schools Hawaii's Taina Kaauwai hits past the Punahou block in the fourth set of the semifinal match in the HHSAA Girls Volleyball tournament. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser

Guy Enriques has a long history doing the things he loves.

Fisherman. Volleyball player. Basketball player. He still drives from Ka‘u to Kailua-Kona to play in makule hoop leagues with a good friend, Richard Rasay.

Then there’s coaching. This voyage to Honolulu was about a potential state championship for the unbeaten Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors. They battled ILH runner-up Punahou dead even much of the night, but when they needed a hammer, the Warriors came up short in a 25-12, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23 loss.

“As far as execution I thought we did pretty good. We could’ve done better in our blocking scheme. We weren’t in position a couple of times. When it came to making big plays, we didn’t go for the swing. When we needed to swing, we chose the off-speed,” Enriques said. “Towards the end of the game, we need to swing out a little bit more. It’s kind of been our nemesis leading up to here. I was hoping we’d kind of got over that, but it’s still a monkey on our back. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the talent, but it needs to show up at the right time when we need it most.”

In a game of similar styles — great defense at the net and back rows — the long rallies tested the patience of big guns Nani Spaar (KS-Hawaii) and Kaia Dunford (Punahou). Spaar finished with a match-high 18 kills and hustled for 12 digs. Spaar let up at the end, however, opting for tips instead of crushing the ball. Punahou’s relentless defense is like almost no other in the state.

Though KS-Hawaii will lose eight seniors to graduation, including Spaar and Tiani Bello, setter Sierra Scanlan (45 assists) is just a sophomore. Their talented middle, Taina Kaauwai, a 6-footer who also looked smooth on the right side, is just a freshman. She finished with 15 kills and hit .400.

“We’ll see what she’ll do next year. She’s played middle all through club ball. We’ve got to get her in a position where she can do more for us,” Enriques said.

He coached the KS-Hawaii boys while his sons were in high school, pushing the Warriors deep into the state tourney each year. His roots in coaching, however, are with girls volleyball.

“Actually, coaching girls is what I do most of the time. The camp I’ve done every summer for 30-something years is all girls. The only time I coached boys is when my kids were going through. Now that they’re done, I’m back to what I love,” said Enriques, who has five sons and no daughters of our own. “Girls are way more challenging and I love the girls game because you get so much more rallies than the boys game. I love formulating their mind-set.”

Some of his young players got some valuable experience tonight.

“A lot of these kids are new. We had three freshmen out there at one time. You see those runs, when we’re doing doing good, we’re OK. We just need to sustain that when we get down to the end, the last five points,” Enriques said.

It was tight enough that Punahou replaced its setter, knowing the match would be decided by the little things. Execution. Fundamentals. That move by Punahou coach Tanya Fuamatu-Anderson worked out in this quarterfinal battle. The Warriors had the Buffanblu on the ropes.

“We let them off,” Enriques said. “We had a chance.”

Division I

Match #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1Oct. 21Moanalua vs. WaianaeMoan 25-20, 24-26, 25-19, 23-25, 15-13Moanalua
2Oct. 21Punahou vs. KahukuPun 25-19, 25-19, 19-25, 25-21Punahou
3Oct. 21Waiakea vs. KapoleiKapo 25-15, 25-18, 25-13Waiakea
4Oct. 21KS-Maui vs. Le JardinLJA 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-14KS-Maui
5Oct. 24(4) King Kekaulike vs. MoanaluaMoan 25-17, 25-17, 25-19Moanalua
6Oct. 24(1) Kamehameha vs. KapoleiKSK 25-20, 25-14, 25-20Moanalua
7Oct. 24(3) KS-Hawaii vs. PunahouPun 25-12, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23McKinley
8Oct. 24(2) Mililani vs. Le JardinMil 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20McKinley
9*Oct. 25King Kekaulike vs. KapoleiKapo 25-23, 25-16McKinley
10*Oct. 25KS-Hawaii vs. Le JardinKSH 25-20, 25-22McKinley
11Oct. 25Moanalua vs. KamehamehaKSK 25-22, 25-19, 25-18Moanalua
12Oct. 25Punahou vs. MililaniPun 25-22, 25-12, 25-20Moanalua
13*Oct. 26Kapolei vs. KS-HawaiiKapo 25-16, 24-26, 15-8Blaisdell Arena
14*Oct. 26Moanalua vs. MililaniMoan 14-25, 28-26, 15-12Blaisdell Arena
15Oct. 26Kamehameha vs. PunahouKSK 21-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-21Blaisdell Arena
* — consolation


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