Red Raiders handle Warriors in three sets

LIHUE — The Red Raiders of Kauai High took care of business Saturday night, dropping the visiting Kapaa Warriors in three sets, 25-21, 25-21, 25-17 at Kauai High School gym.

Opening their season with a win on the road Wednesday against the Island School Voyagers, the Red Raiders came out fired up in their home opener, jumping out to a 12-6 lead in the first set.

The Warriors, 0-1, committed unforced errors on seven of Kauai’s first 12 points, but rallied for six straight points.

With the game tied at 12, head coach of Kauai High School Merrill Carvalho, called a time-out to settle down his squad.

The Red Raiders came out of the timeout, answering Kapaa with six straight points of their own including an ace from Amanda Cadavona and five attacking errors from the Warriors.

Kapaa fought back and climbed within one at 21-20, but Kauai finished off the first set behind kills from Harley Kaeo, Jondee Rivera, Gilian Gregorio and an ace from Teyanni Esaki.

In the second set, sparked by Madisson Hinkel and Mailekaluhea Tuttle’s individual blocks, Tori Daligcon-Pomaikai’s kill and Haaheo Mahinai’s ace, the Warriors took a 10-6 lead.

Carvalho took another time-out, and Lady Red Raiders responded by pulling back in front at 13-11, but Kapaa answered with eight straight points.

Facing a 19-13 deficit and in serious risk of dropping set two, Carvalho took time-out number three and it would prove to be the last one needed.

“The key phrase we use is ‘strive for consistency,’” Carvalho said. “We weren’t making consistent positive plays. When I called timeout that was the one phrase I kept going over and over again.”

The Red Raiders scored 12 of the second set’s final 14 points to grab a commanding 2-0 game lead against the Warriors.

Although falling behind again to Kapaa 3-0 to start the third set, Kauai jumped right back in it with six straight points. From there, the Red Raiders rolled and won 25 to 17 to secure their second win of the season.

For Kapaa, it was their second loss in two tries. Evan Costa, Kapaa head coach, was happy with his girls’ performance and said he and his staff still need to teach them how to close out games and harness momentum.

“Understanding assignments is basically what is happening here,” Costa said. “We’re getting blown assignments and not paying attention to detail.”

The Red Raiders finished the game with 24 kills compared to the Warriors’ 18.

Leading Kauai with six kills was Kawehi Harris followed by Harley Kaeo and Jondee Rivera with four a piece.

Junior Tahra Kaui had a game-high five aces for the Red Raiders.

Tori Daligcon-Pomaikai finished with five kills, while Kunani Tuttle added four.

Madisson Hinkel was the leader in total blocks for both teams, racking up four blocks up front for Kapaa.

In JV action Saturday night, Kauai beat Kapaa 25-27, 25-22, 25-22.

Over at the Clem Gomes Gym on the grounds of the Waimea High School, the Menehune swept its series over the Island School Voyagers, the Waimea JV squad taking a 3-0 series, 25-14, 25-8, 25-21.

The varsity Menehune wahine kept the momentum rolling, taking its series, 3-0 on scores of 25-6, 25-18, and 25-10.

KIF girl’s volleyball will be back in action Wednesday, when Kauai High School travels out to Waimea to take on the Menehune and the Warriors’ visiting the Voyagers of Island School. Both matches begin with the JV at 5 p.m., with the varsity to follow no earlier than 6:30 p.m.

• Tyson Agbayani, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or tagbayani@thegardenisland.com.

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