Menehune drop Warriors in four on senior night

KAPAA — The Waimea Menehune played the role of ungrateful guests Friday night, beating the Kapaa Warriors on their senior night in four sets 23-25, 25-13, 26-24, 25-21 at Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.

“I don’t know how we did what we did tonight,” said head coach of the Menehune, Chad Delanoza. “Tonight was just a big team effort … they (Kapaa) had a lot of energy in the gym and we just wanted to do our best here to just come out and compete.”

With seven seniors playing their final game in front of the their home crowd for Kapaa, the Warriors came out firing in Friday’s opening set.

Serving the first ball of the game for Kapaa was senior Jadelyn Andaya. Wearing a brace to support her torn left Achilles, Andaya opened up Friday’s match.

“We asked permission if this girl could at least do a game serve,” said Evan Costa, head coach of Kapaa. “If they (Waimea) played it out, we told her to ‘clear out of the court, get out of the way, we don’t want to hurt you anymore’.”

Andaya’s serve didn’t make it over the net, but it was just enough to provide a spark for the Warriors in the first set.

Down two points in the early going, senior Warrior Alexis Stogner dropped in back-to-back aces to tie things up at five a piece.

Kapaa scored the set’s next four points with two points coming from kills from senior Brainee Cabacungan and sophomore Kunani Tuttle.

But Waimea rallied behind a Warrior hitting error, a kill a piece from Mariyah Oliver and Lei Alejandro, and a Kawena Warren ace to bring the score back to a tie at 9-9.

However, with the support from their home crowd, Kapaa did respond.

After a service error gave the ball back to the Warriors, Cabacungan dropped in an ace and used strong serving on her next two serves to grab a 13-9 Kapaa advantage.

Kapaa kept the momentum from there on out and held Waimea off when they clawed back to tie things up at 23-23.

Tori Daligcon-Pomaikai recorded a kill to give the Warriors a 24-23 advantage and Eryka Keoho finished it off with a kill of her own to give Kapaa the set one victory.

But the Menehune regrouped in the second set.

Waimea opened the second set with a block and two kills from Warren and two aces from libero Ani Samio for a 5-0 lead.

Kapaa got on the board on the following play but Waimea kept the pressure on.

Coach Costa of Kapaa was forced to call a timeout with his girls down 12-2.

The Menehune didn’t let up following the timeout and allowed the Warriors to only get as close as nine points the remainder of the set, before capping set two at 25-13.

With a set a piece, the teams headed into the game’s third set.

Kapaa earned an early 3-0 advantage with kills from Cabacungan and Keoho, and a Menehune error.

Waimea eventually tied things up at five, but the Warriors separated themselves again following a kill and block from senior Madisson Hinkel.

Kapaa held the lead almost the whole set with Waimea tying things up at 17-17, 18-18 and 22-22.

The Warriors earned “Aloha Ball” after receiving a Menehune hitting error and an ace from Stogner to push the score to 24-22.

However, Waimea didn’t fold.

The Menehune tied it up again at 24-24 with help from a Warrior service and hitting error.

Waimea’s Oliver recorded two kills to give the Menehune a 26-24 set three victory and totaled eight kills on the set.

In the fourth set, it was the Warriors who again grabbed an early lead.

After Waimea’s Alejandro recorded a kill for the first point of the set, Kapaa used a kill from Cabacungan and Keoho and two Menehune errors for a 4-1 advantage.

Like the set before, Waimea tied things up at 5-5.

From there, the Warriors and Menehune traded points with Kapaa breaking away for a lead of four at 13-9.

In what was the case all night, the Menehune fought back, tying it up at 16 a piece.

Looking like they were on a mission, Waimea scored six straight points with four of those points coming from Oliver kills and a Warren block.

Kapaa made a late push with help from a Hinkel block, two aces from Cabacungan and kill from senior Kaylee Silva.

But the lead proved to be too much as Waimea took set four 25-21, earning them the match victory.

Delanoza didn’t think his girls played their best ball in Friday’s victory.

“We couldn’t pass and even our free ball passing kind of didn’t go well for us tonight,” said Delanoza. “But we stayed the course. We managed and we kind of weathered the storm a little bit.”

Delanoza was proud of his girls’ faith and belief in fighting the entire game and credited Kapaa for a tough match.

Costa, reiterated his belief after Friday’s match that Waimea is peaking.

“They’re like a well-oiled machine,” said Costa. “Consistency is what’s going to win you games and that proved the case today.”

Costa said his team has finally buckled down and is confident in his team in their final two regular season games.

Oliver of the Menehune was the leading attacker in Friday’s match, finishing with 20 kills. Teammate, Warren, also had herself a stellar match putting down 10 kills, recording six blocks and dropping in two aces.

Alejandro of Waimea finished with seven kills and three aces.

Leading the way for Kapaa was was Keoho with 10 kills followed by Cabacungan with eight kills and Hinkel with five.

Kapaa’s Stogner and Waimea’s Samio finished the game with four aces a piece.

Warriors’ Mailekaluhea Tuttle, Kaiemi Moniz, Silva, Stogner, Andaya, Cabacungan and Hinkel played in their final home game on Friday.

Waimea improves to 10-2 on the season while the Warriors go to 5-6.

•In JV action Friday night, the Warriors secured the win over the Menehune 25-22, 25-19, 18-25.

Over at Island School, the Kauai High Red Raiders varsity and junior varsity girls beat the Island School Voyagers.

In JV action, the Red Raiders beat the Voyagers 25-9, 25-13, 25-10 while the varsity won 25-9, 25-12, 25-4.

Kauai goes to 7-4 on the season while the Voyagers drop to 0-10.

KIF volleyball returns Tuesday when the Kauai High Red Raiders host the Kapaa Warriors and the Island School Voyagers travel out to Waimea to take on the Menehune. Both matches start with JV at 5:30 p.m. with the varsity to follow no earlier than 6:30 p.m.

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