Waimea wins second straight title

Waimea 3, Kaua‘i 0

WAIMEA — The decibel must have measured at its highest sound level last night as a packed Waimea High School gym screamed and stomped in celebration of its second straight Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball title.

The Menehune led by a predominantly senior team defeated Kaua‘i High School in three quick games, 26-25, 25-10 and 25-19.

“I was surprised,” said Waimea senior co-captain Josey Jacinto. “I thought Kaua‘i was going to put up more of a fight than that. But we told our team to play with are hearts and that’s what we did.”

The match lasted a little more than an hour.

Kaua‘i put up a fight in Game 1 of the playoff, setting the stage for what looked like it was going to be a long night. Kaua‘i (1-3 Round 2, 4-5 overall) took Waimea (4-0, 7-2) to extra points that ended when setter Qyla Parangao connected with Cheri Kua for a big kill.

Kaua‘i lost momentum in Game 2 when Waimea consistently put up serious defense. After Waimea got up to a 13-point lead, the Menehune continued to take off.

Hoping to come back and stay a bit longer, Kaua‘i was able to come up with a few hits and rally late in the game.

But it was game over once Waimea hit the final stretch.

“We belong here,” Kaua‘i head coach Rich Roberts said about the successful Red Raider season. Kaua‘i went from last place the year before, to becoming this year’s Round 1 champs and competing in the KIF playoffs.

“Some nights, you’re on and some nights you’re off,” he said. “Tonight, we were just a little bit off.”

Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza was brought to tears as the fans lined up to congratulate him.

“I’m so proud of what the girls did,” he said. “After everything they’ve been through, they fought for their goal and they held it together. They could’ve easily fallen apart, but they didn’t. They stayed together.”

Waimea’s Tatum Gonsalves hit 12 kills, while teammate Tia Agader hit eight. Parongao registered 16 assists and two aces.

Waimea now advances to the New City Nissan Division II Volleyball State Championships set for Radford and McKinley high schools on O‘ahu. The tournament starts next Wednesday and ends on Nov. 2.

At last tournament appearance, Waimea took home the third-place finish. For more tournament information, visit www.sportshigh.com.


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