WAIMEA – The Waimea girls and boys varsity squads improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in KIF volleyball second round play with a sweep of the Kapa’a Warriors Saturday night at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium.
Waimea 15-6, 12-15, 15-8
Fresh off their first round win over the Red Raiders, the Kapa’a girls looked to make a statement in their second round opener. The Menehunes answered the challenge with a hard-fought three set home victory to keep their momentum going into next week’s play.
Waimea cruised to their first set win on the strength of 16 team kills while limiting the Warriors to single digits.
In the second set, Kapa’a jumped out to an eight-point advantage only to watch the Menehunes battle to within 13-12. A Tess Maguire-Kelly McBride quick connection put the visitors up by a pair but Britnee Boeder’s answering shot returned service to the west-siders.
Co-captain Sharlene Carillo’s looping roll shot found the sideline to put Kapa’a’s Maguire at the service stripe and the senior responded with a soft floating set-ending ace to an open middle.
The final game was initially a close affair with Waimea only up 8-7 with about 4:30 to play. A 7-1 Menehune run however, ended with a Virginia Aguilar quick dump, an unforced Warrior hitting error, and a Kapa’a double contact violation to close out the match.
“Kapa’a played a real good game,” Menehune head coach Dr. Paul Arrington confided, “they took us to the wire with it. The outcome was not certain until well into the third game.”
The victors were again led by stellar all-around performances from setter Ashlee Vea (26 assists, 7 kills, 13 digs) and outside hitter Boeder (game-high sharing 9 kills, 8 digs, 2 service aces). Senior middle Aguilar was a major force in the middle with 3 solo blocks, 6 kills, and a game-high 4 service aces, as was teammate Jannah Tafua (4 kills, 1 solo block). Robyn Arrington excelled in the back row with 10 digs to go along with her 3 kills.
Senior co-captain Ihilani Yama paced the improved Warrior attack with 20 assists, 1 kill, and 14 digs, while Maguire shared a game-high 9 kills with Boeder (and served a pair of aces). Sharlene Carillo shook off the after-effects of a challenging cross-country victory earlier in the afternoon to put away 8 kills and Amniesty Ragsac recorded 5 kills and 7 digs. McBride battled at the net with 4 kills while also defending well with 1 solo block and a block assist. Uluwehi Torio helped spark her team with 4 digs and a pair of service aces.
Waimea 15-0, 15-12
The boys varsity contest began with the home squad on a seemingly unstoppable roll but concluded with a frantic come-from-behind effort to finish in two sets.
Waimea kept the Warriors scoreless in the first set as they limited the jump-serving visitors to only seven chances at the end line and answered five of them with monstrous kills by their front row hitters. Hitting and serving errors ended other game one scoring opportunities for Kapa’a.
The second set was another matter as Ricky Rodrick, Cale Forsen, and Alika Woodward each responded with 3 kills apiece to help the Warriors to a 10-3 bulge before Menehune setter Erwin Wright got his third opportunity to serve.
When a Forsen kill ended the Waimea senior’s run at the line, his squad had reclaimed the lead at 12-10.
A Bryan Domingo quick kill and Woodward point-winning joust at the net knotted the game at 12-all but Billy Toy’s hard serve just nipped the net.
Both squads were unable to capitalize on side-out tries before a Talon Abat-Desmond Rodrigues block rejection of a Warrior backcourt kill attempt fell unimpeded to the court to put the hosts up 13-12. Norman Vea’s service ace and a Rodrigues rocket smash in the middle concluded the tense affair.
“I was happy with the way we played in the first set,” Waimea head coach Bobby Kamakele said, “but in the second we temporarily forgot how to pass. Our confidence level started to rise when we began to come back. Steven (Fountain) and Norman (Vea) passed superbly when we needed it and thats what got us back.”
Josh Vinzant led all hitters with 6 kills (as well as a pair of block assists, 1 service ace, 2 block assists and 3 digs) while Wright doled out a game-high 16 assists for the Menehunes. Rodrigues recorded 4 kills and 8 digs, and Casey Kaohelaulii controlled the middle with 3 kills, a solo block and 3 block assists. Defensive specialist Steven Fountain hustled to pick up 5 dig saves and opposite hitter Abat came up with a well-rounded effort (2 assists, 2 kills, 3 block assists, and 3 digs).
Forsen led the visitors with 5 of his squads 17 kills; Rodrick (4 kills), Woodward (3 kills, service ace), Domingo (2 kills, service ace), and Toy (2 kills) also stood out offensively. The Warrior offense however, was hampered by 10 unforced hitting errors. Setter Kyle Mahoney dished out 13 assists while also recording a kills and 4 digs.
The Kaua’i Red Raiders (1-4, 0-1) travel to the Bernice Hundley Gymnasium next Wednesday to take on the Warriors with boys junior varsity action scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.