Red Raiders take Round 1

Kaua‘i 3, Waimea 1 – Kaua‘i High School’s girls volleyball team fought off Waimea High School last night, winning in four games 17-25, 27-25, 25-13 and 25-21. With the win, the Red Raiders remain undefeated take the Round 1 title in Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation play.

Kaua‘i (5-0) was led by senior outside hitter Jori Jasper who finished the night with 14 kills. Malia Kagawa posted five kills and senior setter Mikaila Naholoholo finished with 25 assists.

They young Waimea team, consisting of mostly underclassmen with little volleyball experience, was on a two-game winning streak and seemed poise to continue that in Game 1 to possibly force a first-round playoff. The defending champions (2-3) built a comfortable lead behind the offense of Brandee Victorino and Jayme Jacinto.

Perhaps the toughest contest of the night came in the second, which went into extra points. Waimea looked very different from the first in the beginning. Kaua‘i went up 5-0 before Waimea called a time-out to regroup.

The Menehune fought their way back up and tied the game at 14-14, relying heavily on the front line work of the duo Victorino and Jacinto and the defensive efforts of libero Vakeesha Lagazo.

Jasper’s serve at the tail-end of the game hit the tape and took a short bounce to drop just over for an ace, bringing Kaua‘i closer to closing out the game. The Raiders caught the Menehune off-guard with a tip to win 27-25.

Waimea played without Victorino for the first half of the third game and her presence off the court made it easy to build another early lead. This time, the Raiders enjoyed their biggest lead of the night. Carly Matsumoto served two aces in a row and Kaua‘i was up 20-10.

When Victorino returned, Waimea’s energy and momentum returned as well. But by that time, they were too far back and Kaua‘i won by 12.

Waimea had a strong start in the fourth and kept the game close. Naholoholo sneaked a little tip to the unsuspecting Menehune to get to match point. A misshit by Jacinto into the net sealed Kaua‘i’s victory.

In the junior varsity matchup, Kaua‘i won 25-22, 25-19 and 8-25.

Kapa‘a 3, Island 0

Kapa‘a High School’s head coach Gary Maguire said his Lady Warriors recovered from last week’s loss to Waimea to beat Island School in three games, 25-17, 25-12, 25-11.

No JV scores were reported.

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