WAIMEA — Kaua‘i’s Donavon Harrison and Waimea’s Kaili Schumacher-Lagundino are used to fighting each other through the air. The two battled it on the hardwood during the KIF boys basketball season, both players leading their teams with their high-flying abilities.
Those skills have transferred over to the volleyball court, and after the first game of the KIF boys basketball season, it was Harrison’s aerial attack leading his team to victory.
Harrison and the Red Raiders overcame a fourth set Waimea comeback to down the Menehune in a five set thriller 26-24, 25-23, 26-24, 22-25,16-14, on Tuesday evening in Waimea.
“I didn’t expect the season to open this close,” Kaua‘i head coach Merrill Carvalho said. “Honestly, I thought Waimea was going to come out with the win.”
Carvalho said he knew the five-time defending KIF champion Menehune would be a quality team. Led by head coach Enoka Karratti, the Menehune were a team that fought hard, even when down. After winning set two, the Menehune almost stole the third set.
Down 16-24, the Menehune grinded out eight consecutive points to tie the set at 24. But a Harrison kill and miss returned serve got the Red Raiders out of the jam.
The fourth set saw the Red Raiders run out to a 17-13 lead, but the Menehune came back, using kills from Schumacher-Lagundino and Mark Kanehele along with timely serving from Keoni Ana.
Lagundion-Schumacher extended the game to a fifth set with a massive kill for the set clincher.
In the fifth set, the Menehune once again mounted a comeback to a late-set Red Raider lead.
The Red Raiders led 13-11, but Waimea used a 3-0 run to force match ball.
The Red Raiders rebounded and tied the score, and then with a 15-14 lead, Harrison unleashed a powerful shot into the Menehune back court to seal the win for the Red Raiders.
“They refused to quit,” Carvalho said.
In order to continue to win like they did on Tuesday, Carvalho said the Red Raiders will need to not only utilize Harrison, but make sure to keep the whole team involved.
“Right now he’s basically our entire offense,” Carvalho said of Harrison. “But when he gets blocked like he did at times tonight, the other guys stood up.”
In JV action, the Red Raiders edged the Menehune in three sets, 22-25, 15-25, 25-20.
Over at Island School, the Kapa‘a Warriors opened their season strong with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-13 win over the Voyagers. The Kapa‘a JV took two of three sets from the Voyagers, as well, 25-10, 18-25, 25-20.