It all started to come together during their senior year. They endured a few blips on the radar screen along the way, including a five-set loss in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation title game.
But the Honokaa Dragons ended their season Saturday with bragging rights and a third-place finish at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament.
Chance Salva pounded 10 kills and Honokaa bested Ka’u 25-19, 25-22 in an all-Big Island Division II volleyball encounter at Blaidell Arena in Honolulu.
The Dragons (10-6) scored a measure of revenge after losing to the Trojans (9-7) on April 26 in the BIIF championship game. The teams were playing for the third time in four Saturdays, and the consolation match was the first not to go five sets.
Honokaa won the season series 2-1.
None of its large contingent of seniors — Salva, Cjay Carvalho, Makana Loo, Elzer Maltezo, Wayne Vaoga, Cody Lindsey, Nathan Gascon and Jordan Asia Juan — had been to states before this season.
Each had a hand in the win against Ka’u. In fact, only two other players saw action.
Carvalho, an outside hitter, and Lindsey, a middle blocker, each posted four kills, while setter Loo had three to go along with 23 assists and seven digs. Maltezo, a libero, led the way with 10 digs.
Ka’u’s biggest weapon, Cameron Enriques (13 kills) is a junior. Senior Chance Emmsley-Ah Yee added five kills (.625 attack percentage), but the Trojans were outhit .220-.115.
Junior Shyrome Batin also had four kills for Honokaa, which had four players hit above .200: Loo (.400), Lindsey (.333), Salva (.296) and Batin (.231).
Junior Brian Gascon and senior Larry-Dan Al-Navarro finished with three kills apiece for Ka’u.