Red Raiders Water Polo Team Back in Action

Gina Ahue
Gina Ahue
Makana Whitford
Makana Whitford
Taniya Sifton
Taniya Sifton

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The Kahuku girls water polo team just keeps on rolling.

The ladies jumped back in the pool for the first time Saturday, since their traumatic bus crash on Thursday.

The Red Raiders beat Roosevelt 10-3, and Mililani 15-1. They remain unbeaten in the OIA since 2003, when water polo was first recognized as a sport.  Bad news for the rest of the league -- this crash may have made them even better.

It's back into the pool for the Kahuku girls water polo team.

"It feels really good," said Gina Ahue. "We're all excited and hyped up that everybody's okay and playing. It just feels good to be back in the water playing."

On Thursday, their bus flipped over and ended in a stream along Kamehameha Highway in Waikane. The girls were shaken, but not seriously hurt. And they're now turning this negative into a positive.

"Yeah, definitely -- being thrown together has made us closer," said Ahue.

"Now we each other as sisters, and not just teammates," said head coach Makana Whitford. "I see them as my little sisters. So, it was tragic, but it's a bittersweet kind of a situation."

"Today has shown that we can basically go through anything together," said Taniya Sifton.

A couple of girls did not play, just as a precautionary measure. Whitford says they've gotten emails of support from people in the community -- even their opponents in the pool.

"We're just all happy, and we can feel the love and we appreciate it," she said.

But that doesn't mean the Red Raiders will ease up in the pursuit of their goals.

"Win states, win OIA's, work our hardest, play well together," said Sifton.

"We're still doing what we do," said Whitford. "I'm excited. We're happy."

The girls who missed Saturday's matches are still a little sore from the crash. But they are expected to be back for the rest of the season.