LIHUE — The Red Raider girls are still in position to force a Kauai Interscholastic Federation season first round playoff.
Kauai High School’s varsity girls volleyball team defeated Waimea 3-1 at home Tuesday.
After surrendering the first set to the Menehune 25-19, The Red Raiders (4-1 KIF) won the next three by scores of 25-14, 25-15, 25-18.
“I think it was both settling down and making improvements,” said Kauai senior outside hitter Harley Kaeo about winning sets 2-4 after losing the first one. “In volleyball, you always have to make improvements. I think we adjusted well.”
Red Raiders head coach Dorene Matias said she made some adjustments with the team and this was the first game in which she used them.
Though the performance was not perfect, Matias said she’s glad her team got the win to stay in contention in the first round.
“Physically, the girls are ready. I need to get them more mentally focused and more comfortable with the changes,” she said. “There was a lot of drastic changes made on the court with girls and their positions. They did pretty good.
“Anything is possible. Teams do get better as time goes on. With that being said, we need to get better. We need to start off very focused and ready to play to do our business,” Matias added.
Kaeo said the new changes did throw her and her teammates off initially.
“It’s the first time we tried it out in the game. So I think we were just kind of nervous and not sure of ourselves in the first set,” she said. “When we figured out we could do it, we picked it up and got our stuff together.”
Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza said his team perhaps got too comfortable after winning the first set and didn’t carry the same intensity in the sets following.
“In the second, third and fourth (set), we kind of couldn’t shake that,” the Menehune coach said. “On the other side, Kauai didn’t do anything (wrong). They just kept the ball in play … A lot of it boils down to unforced errors again. That’s part of the game.”
Earlier in the evening, the Red Raiders junior varsity squad beat Waimea 2-1 by scores of 21-25, 25-8, 25-16.
Kauai will play Kapaa (5-0 KIF) at home and Waimea (1-4 KIF) will travel to Island School (0-5 KIF) on Friday. The JV teams begin play at 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.
If Kauai wins, the Red Raiders and Warriors will play a first round playoff game at a date to be announced. Kapaa would win the first round if victorious Friday.
“We’ve been going over films and getting our girls prepared for Friday’s game,” Matias said. “Let’s see. Friday is the tell all. It will tell me if this setup will work against Kapaa, and I think it will work.”