WAIMEA — The Kaua‘i Red Raiders didn’t care much for the occasion — they were on a mission.
The Kaua‘i girls played the role of ungrateful guest Friday, as the Raiders swept the Menehune 25-11, 25-17, 31-29, on Menehune senior night at Waimea High School to clinch the second round of the KIF volleyball season.
With passionate crowds from both schools lining the stands, the Red Raiders exploded out of the gates with a 10-1 run to start the first set.
The Raiders kept the pace going, and before the Menehune found a rhythm, the Raiders jumped out to a two-set lead.
At the forefront of the Raider start was Kaua‘i senior Shyanne Sadora.
With 6 kills in the first two sets and a total of 8 on the game, Sadora made sure that her final season wasn’t upset by the Menehune senior night celebration.
“It’s my senior year, and we’ve got to make sure every game counts,” Sadora said. “We wanted to win this second round and eventually the KIF title.”
What seemed like a sure sweep turned doubtful as the Menehune rebounded in the third set.
The Waimea girls came out with passion and vigor. They played aggressively in the front court and had the Raiders on their heels for the first time all night.
“The finally played well in the third set,” Red Raider head coach Merill Carvalho said. “They made a lot more plays.”
The Menehune led for the majority of the third set, and even had 3 chances to close out the set late. But the bid for a fourth set fell short when Sadora slammed a shot across the net to seal the game for the Raiders.
Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza said his team came out too flat in the first two sets, and by the time they finally warmed up, it was too late.
“We fought a lot harder at the end,” Delanoza said. “Early in the game, we couldn’t sustain points. We played with no emotion. We came out in the first two sets and blinked and the games were over.”
Delanoza said there was added pressure on the team with it being senior night.
“A lot of people come out and there is a lot of emotion,” he said. “This is the first group of seniors I’ve had for all four years, so there was emotion.”
The Menehune have two seniors on their roster: Vakeesha Lagazo and Quincee Parongao. Lagazo had three kills in the match while Parongao added steady defense.
Mariyah Oliver led the Menehune with 5 kills.
The win was the Red Raiders’ sixth in a row and clinched the top spot in the second round of the season. The win sets up a playoff with the first round-winning Menehune.
A shot at a playoff is all that’s been on the mind of Sadora ever since the Menehune took the first round.
“We won this game,” Sadora said. “We won the round and now we want the championship.”
The season takes a hiatus next week, then the following week is the last of regualr season play. The KIF playoff will begin on Oct. 17.
In JV action, the Red Radiers swept the Menehune, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18.
In other action, the Kapa‘a Warriors downed the Island School Voyagers in four sets, 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16, while the Voyagers countered with a JV win, 26-24, 25-22, 13-25.