Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

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Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

The Collegian

Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

The Collegian


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Crusader Volleyball swings at the Highest Level


“Division two doesn’t count,” “Lucky win,” and “Why don’t you guys move up?” were just some of the many bits of criticism that the Saint Louis Varsity volleyball team was receiving after winning the state championship last year.  This was the Crusader’s first state championship victory in school history, defeating the University Lab Junior Bows three sets to one.  After the game, many people wondered what’s next for Kalaepohaku’s newest champions.

In the state championship post-game interview, commentators invited class of 2024 outside hitter TJ Setik to the table.  Setik explained how the volleyball team is built through discipline and being strong-minded.  During the interview, he stated that the team was ready for division one.  The ILH granted that wish, and the Crusaders became the sixth team in Division One. 

The Crusaders will play a round-robin schedule and aim to become the first team in state history to win a Division Two and Division One championship in back-to-back years.  “I think we have the talent.  I think we have the leadership to do it,” said Head Coach Keenan Paulos (‘11).  It comes down to sticking to our core value of being process-motivated over outcome-driven.  Being in control of our emotions, attitude, and effort.” Saint Louis will open up at Iolani for the first regular season matchup.

Fundamentals will be key for the Crusaders as they allocate to division one.  With a good foundation, leadership, experience, and a bit of youth, the Crusaders look to take one of two berths into the state tournament.  However, the team will have to adjust to the higher level of play and faster pace.  “It is a very quick game to the point where if you aren’t prepared, you will get killed,” said Paulos.  “If we’re picking a strategy thing to work on, it’s offense.  We’re being a lot faster and I think it’s a lot more exciting.  Guys are bouncing balls inside the 10 ft line.  It’s unreal.”

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Defense is another aspect that the Crusaders are focusing on.  “Division one is played at a much faster pace with a lot more variety.  I think our team needs to work on running our offense faster and moving our feet quicker on defense,” said assistant coach Keenan Meyer (‘13).  “Having to implement that to a group who is used to playing a slower pace of volleyball is certainly difficult, but we’re getting used to it.”

The Crusaders have nine seniors suited up for this season.  They welcome two seniors who have not played since middle school.  Kekama Cosma and Jordan Posiulai once played in their intermediate years but chose to focus on football and basketball (respectively).  They also keep seven seniors who have been with the varsity program from 2021.

With much to work and improve on the team is keeping a good attitude and high spirits.  The team has nothing to lose and no pressure.  They are the new kids on the block in Division One, and other teams don’t know what kind of team they have.  “We have nothing to lose, this is for my seniors.  Finishing this chapter and writing their legacy,” said Paulos.  “I will say, if teams catch us in close games, there is nothing scarier than a Crusader with his back against the wall.  He has no option but to fight.”

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