Warriors hang on for 4-3 win over Nā Ali’i

The+Warriors%27+Riann+Fujihara+scores+the+fourth+and+final+point+for+the+Warriors+against+King+Kekaulike+on+Tuesday+April+26%2C+at+Pi%27ilani+Pool.+The+Warriors+move+on+in+the+MIL+tournament.+The+will+face+the+Baldwin+Bears+at+5%3A15+tomorrow+at+Pi%27ilani+Aquatic+Center.

Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo

The Warriors' Riann Fujihara scores the fourth and final point for the Warriors against King Kekaulike on Tuesday April 26, at Pi'ilani Pool. The Warriors move on in the MIL tournament. The will face the Baldwin Bears at 5:15 tomorrow at Pi'ilani Aquatic Center.

The Warriors water polo team escaped the King Kekaulike Nā Ali’i, 4-3, today in their first game of the Maui Interscholastic League water polo tournament at Pi’ilani Aquatic Center. The Warriors will move forward and play Baldwin on Wednesday at 5:15 also at Pi’ilani.

“This game was a little too close for comfort, we definitely made a lot of mistakes,” Warriors head coach Allyn Kalaiwaa said. “King Kekaulike brought their A-game today, and we had a difficult time shutting down their shooters.”

Coach Kalaiwaa said that Nā Ali’i had a different mindset than the Warriors coming into the game.

“Both teams realized that a loss today would mean an end to their season,” Coach Kalaiwaa said. “Our girls were really nervous, while King Kekaulike was energized.”

Coach Kalaiwaa said the anxiety and nervousness affected the Warriors’ play at first.

“It just made them nervous knowing this is their last shot if they want to qualify for states,” she said.

Coach Kalaiwaa said the girls need to get ready for tomorrow’s game against Baldwin.

“We just need to bring energy, have a positive attitude and just remember, ho’omau,” she said.

Warriors sophomore Stephanie Bodin scored her first point of the season in the Warriors’ narrow victory.

“It feels great,” Bodin said. “It’s a good feeling when you contribute.”

Bodin broke away from her defender, got open, and after receiving a pass scored the second point of the game. She was proud of her team.

“We played with passion,” she said. “All that pushing paid off and helped us win.”

Despite the victory, she knows the Warriors will still have to face off an experienced Baldwin team. The Bears have eight wins to the Warriors’ four in the regular season.

“[Nā Ali’i] were good contenders,” she said. “But we have to be ready because the next team will be better.”

Even though their season is now done, Nā Ali’i head coach Arik Dadez was still satisfied with the progression of his team.

“We have a lot of underclassmen on the team, so that was a hurdle we had to overcome,” he said. “But overall everyone got better this season.”