LIHUE — Waimea High School split its series with Kauai High School Friday night before a nearly full Kauai High School gym.
The hosting Red Raider junior varsity took its match, 25-21, 12-25 and 25-22. On the varsity court, Waimea picked up its second straight win in five sets, 25-22, 23-25, 25-16, 21-25 and 15-10.
“The boys did what they had to do,” said Waimea coach Alton Shimatsu. “They fought hard. It was the same way Tuesday night against Kapaa — they did what they had to do.”
Bobby Oliver, appearing to be more confident on the court following his Tuesday showing, was joined by Ryan Lomongo in leading the Waimea attack which kept the Menehune in the lead throughout the set.
But Kauai stayed close behind the hitting from Tyler Fernandez, the margin not exceeding four points in the set.
Fernandez pounded two kills and coupled with a Waimea error, pulled Kauai to a 17-17 tie.
Melvin Tingzon slammed one to give Kauai a 19-17 lead, and a Waimea error saw Kauai up 20-17 before Lomongo broke the string from the opposite side.
A block in the middle and Kekoa Kalani-Tecson’s tap to close a crowd-pleasing rally saw Kauai up by four, 22-18.
But the bottom fell out as Waimea’s Jayden Fu killed one, and a Kauai lift saw Waimea threatening, 22-21.
Kauai hitting errors knotted the game and a net violation coupled with hits by Fu sealed the deal, 25-22.
“Even though we came out with the win, the boys agreed — we had too many errors,” Shimatsu said. “We agreed in the locker room that we need to cut down on the errors.”
For Kauai, the errors were also a wake-up call, said Dorene Matias, the head coach.
“Where did that boy (Fu) come from? We weren’t even watching him. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Matias said. “We lessened the errors from Tuesday night’s game, but we got our work cut out for us.”
The second set was similar to the opening where both teams stayed close, but six consecutive errors, five from the service block, determining the scoring.
Errors plagued the Red Raiders who stalled at Point 16 in the third set, and sealed the deal in the final set.
On a brighter note, Kauai ran a string of six points in the fourth set behind hitting from Fernandez, and blocking from Jake Herbig and Lii Colipano coupling with Waimea miscues for a 16-13 go-ahead. Marcus Carvalho exploded with glee as he dropped the game point.
Fernandez ruled the Raider hitting, getting help from Colipano and Raymart Ballesteros who marked the first ace of the night in the second set for a 6-3 Raider go-ahead.
Menehune miscues saw Kauai ahead 20-18 before a Lomongo save knotted the second set, 20-20.
A Kauai hitting error and a bang from Oliver put Waimea up 22-20 before Kauai strung up the victory behind Waimea miscues.
“Lomongo had a great night tonight,” Shimatsu said. “He had some great touches and I told him as long as the ball hits the ground, it’s a kill.”
Tied at two games apiece, Fu opened the final set for Waimea on a solid kill.
Colipano answered the 3-0 deficit with a kill of his own, but the Raiders were quiet as Waimea pulled to a 7-1 lead on hits by Noah Alejandro and Oliver while Kauai committed errors in the service block and net.
The momentum turned and Waimea committed errors, and combined with the hitting from Kalawaia Judd and Colipano, Kauai knotted the match, 7-7.
Hits from Oliver combined with Raider errors as Waimea pulled ahead 13-9 before a Waimea block of Judd and a Kauai error sealed the deal.
“We just need to work on our defense,” Matias said. “Our offensive line is pretty strong. This is just our first meeting, and we’ll be making a lot more adjustments. Kalawaia told the boys ‘We need to turn on the switch at the start, not midway through the game.’”
Kauai next faces Kapaa at the Bernice Hundley Gym Tuesday night with the JV game starting at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity match starting not earlier than 6:30 p.m.
“Kapaa is a tough team,” Matias said. “We’re going to have to work hard. We’re going to have to get the boys conditioned — it’s going to come down to who is the most conditioned.”