Waimea clinches Round 2, forces KIF playoff

Waimea 3, Kaua‘i 0 – The undefeated Waimea High School’s girls volleyball team swept Kaua‘i High School in three sets, 27-25, 25-13 and 27-25 to clinch Round 2 and force a playoff with the Round 1-winning Red Raiders.

“It feels really good,” said Waimea’s sophomore co-captain Jayme Jacinto, who finished with 10 kills and two blocks. “Our team is finally playing to its potential.”

The Menehune (5-0 Round 2, 8-3 KIF) are no strangers to championships. They’ve won the past two titles under head coach Chad Delanoza. His last winning run before Waimea was when he coached the girls at Kaua‘i.

This game was an important one in determining whether or not Waimea and Kaua‘i would playoff for the round or the title.

“Coach just told us to play our best and to not get over confident,” Jacinto said. “When we won the first two (sets), he told us we have to start fresh, like it’s a brand new game.”

Kaua‘i struggled a bit in the beginning. The Raiders (6-0 , 9-2) committed four service errors to the Menehune’s one, but made up for it in their hitting.

Kristin Yasay’s best set was the first when she hit four of her total seven kills.

“It was a lot of pressure,” she said, acknowledging the consequences of a loss. “But we’re still going to try hard. We can’t just give (the championship) to them. I think this is more motivating for us because we know we can do it. We want it so badly.”

She finished with seven kills on the night.

The first set went back and forth, with neither team holding a lead greater than three points. Waimea setter Chaelyn Briones served an ace to bring the Menehune to game-point. But on the following play, on the return, Briones gave Brandee Victorino the short set. A lift call on Victorino tied them all at 24 apiece.

Victorino though came through with a quick play at the net, sending Jacinto to the line to serve. Kaua‘i’s Malia Kagawa was able to get a hit off to keep the Raiders alive. Waimea countered with a hit from Hamiha Arquette who later served the game-winning ace.

Waimea breezed through the second set. The Menehune got up to a comfortable lead — 13 was their biggest when Briones served another ace to get to 24-11. A kill by Jacinto put them away.

Kaua‘i held the lead most of the way in the third but just wasn’t able to hang on to it. The Raiders lost in extra points because of two sloppy errors — the first an out of rotation call and the final, a net violation. Kaua‘i’s night might have been cut shorter had it not been for the defense of Tiana Esaki who had as many saves as the Raiders had hits in the final set (7).

The playoff time, date and place was not set by press time.

In the junior varsity match, Kaua‘i won 25-22, 25-22 and 23-25.

Kapa‘a 3, Island School 1

Island School got its first game-win of the season last night in its home gym, and Kapa‘a won in four sets, 25-20, 25-19, 20-25 and 25-13.

The final regular-season matches will be held on Saturday.


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