WAIMEA — The Menehune of Waimea High beat the Kapaa Warriors for the second time in five days on Tuesday, dropping the Warriors in straight sets, 25-17, 25-20, 25-15 at Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea.
Menehune coach Chad Delanoza credited his team’s ball control for their repeat performance against the Warriors.
“We just took care of the ball again,” said Delanoza. “That’s the thing that was giving us problems in the first round, we didn’t take care of the ball both on defense and on offense.”
In the first set, the Menehune started quick, scoring six of the game’s first seven points behind an opening kill from Kawena Warren, two kills from Talia Young and an ace from Bailey San Agustin-Nordmeier.
The Menehune used their hitting and defense to string together a series of points to stretch their lead.
After an ace from Alexis Stogner brought Kapaa back to a 5-point deficit at 13-8, the Menehune grabbed four of the game’s following five possessions to push their advantage back to eight points.
Although the Warriors did make a push to cut the Menehune lead to 19-16, Waimea held on.
The Menehune forced the Warriors to commit three straight errors and finished the set 25-17 behind two kills from Mariyah Oliver and one from Lei Alejandro.
Though the second set saw the Warriors threaten the Menehune a couple times, Waimea was never in jeopardy.
The Menehune went on a 7-1 run early and led 9-2.
From there the Warriors played catch up the rest of the set and cut the Menehune lead to 18-16.
But the Warriors weren’t able to get over the hump and saw their last run come to a halt after they committed two errors.
Waimea closed out the second set at 25-20.
Although the Warriors kept pace with the Menehune to start the third set, they weren’t able to sustain it.
Tied at 6-6, Waimea rallied for eight straight points behind two kills from Oliver, two aces from Warren and a kill a piece from Alejandro and Young.
The Menehune only allowed the Warriors to put up nine more points on the board and secured the match with a 25-15 victory.
Despite their second straight loss against Waimea, Warrior coach Evan Costa said the Menehune are playing their best ball of the season.
“I believe they’re peaking,” said Costa. “They’re peaking right at midseason … They gelled well and they didn’t get down on any runs, they didn’t give up many runs.”
Costa also believes that his girls’ win against the Menehune back on Sept. 14 awoken Waimea.
“Pulling one off of them, we know that we woke them up. Now there is a level of respect,” he said.
Costa hopes to raise his girls confidence up in passing the ball to finish off the second-half of the season.
Delanoza credited setter San Agustin-Nordmeier’s work ethic why the attack was working.
“She’s worked really hard in practice,” said Delanoza. “You never, ever see her smile but I think tonight she realized that her hard work is paying off. She smiled a lot and I’m really proud of her.”
Oliver, of the Menehune, finished the game as the leading attacker with 19 kills.
Alejandro added eight kills of her own while fellow Menehune, Young and Warren, chipped in with six and five kills, respectively.
Madisson Hinkel led Kapaa with five kills while teammates Brianee Cabacungan, Tori Daligcon-Pomaikai and Kaylee Silva added two a piece.
Waimea’s Warren and Kapaa’s Cabacungan finished with three aces each to lead the game for their squads.
Waimea improves to 7-2 on the season while Kapaa falls to 4-4.
In JV action at Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea, the Kapaa Warriors secured two sets over the Waimea Menehune 25-19, 22-25, 25-16.
Over at Kauai High School the Red Raiders’ varsity and junior varsity swept the Island School Voyagers.
The JV Red Raiders took the victory 25-5, 25-6, 25-9, while the varsity won 25-8, 25-8, 25-14.
The Red Raiders improve to 5-3 on the season while the Voyagers fall to 0-7.
KIF volleyball action returns on Friday when the Kapaa Warriors host the Red Raiders of Kauai High at Kapaa High School. Waimea will travel to Island School to take on the Voyagers. Both matches begin with JV at 5:30 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 email@example.com.