Water Polo team opens with win over King Kekaulike

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Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo

Quinn Shiraishi, who had nine goals, winds back to shoot the ball against King Kekaulike on March 1, at Pi'ilani pool.

The water polo team beat King Kekaulike, 13-5, last night at Pi’ilani Aquatic Center in the Maui Warriors’ first official game of the season.

“It was really awesome to get into the pool with the team for our first game,” junior Quinn Shiraishi said. “It’s going to prepare us when we play teams with more experience.”

Shiraishi scored nine of the goals in the Warriors’ win over Nā Aliʻi.

“The coaches put me in a really good position to score,” she said. “We have great coaches this year.”

As a junior she reflected on her role as an upperclassman on the team.

“It’s definitely fun to be in a position of leadership,” she said. “That way I can talk to the girls about what we can work and improve on.”

Coach Allyn Kalaiwaa was also pleased with the performance of the Warriors.

“It was a great learning experience,” she said. “We definitely had things to work on, but we played well.”

The Warriors just came out of the preseason Baldwin Invitational with three losses.

“Like the tournament, this was a great opportunity for us to grow,” Coach Kalaiwaa said. “[King Kekaulike] gave us opportunites, and we came down and took advantage of them.”

For their next game on Saturday, the Warriors will play the Lahainaluna Lunas, who have an experienced team.

“We just need to keep conditioning,” Coach Kalaiwaa said, “and we just need to keep being smart with the ball.”

As for Nā Aliʻi, they will continue to work on their fundamentals and continue to look for opportunities.

“This is definitely a rebuilding season for us,” said King Kekaulike coach Arik Dadez. “We have a lot of girls who don’t know water polo very well.We’re really trying to work on our awareness.”

Freshman Kalena Vaivai scored all five points for Nā Ali’i. King Kekaulike had some other scoring opportunities but were unable to capitalize on them.

“We had some errors, but the Warriors are definitely very strong,” Coach Dadez said. “They have a lot of returnees this year.”

Coach Dadez said he’ll take this game as lesson going into King Kekaulike’s next match.
“We just need to improve,” he said.