Menehune thump in straight sets

WAIMEA — Waimea High School’s varsity girls volleyball team defeated Island School, 3-0, Saturday evening on the Westside.

The Menehune girls won 25-14, 25-14 and 25-10. Junior middle blocker Shania Kahepuu scored the last point with a block to seal the match.

“Any win that you can get is a good win. As we all know in the KIF, there’s never a lead that’s safe,” said Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza. “We got to clean up on unforced errors that’s always there for us as a team. But they managed to pull it through.”

With the win at home, Waimea (4-0 KIF) remains unbeaten so far in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season and keeps its hold on the top spot in the first round standings.

“The key has been just hanging together. Hanging tough together,” Delanoza said about the team’s winning streak. “Right now, it’s just good team dynamics. They come in with a good attitude wanting to practice, and they challenge themselves at practice. It’s not really us as much. For them to do it, I think it’s pretty impressive.

“That’s all we’ve been doing to get this record, but it’s a matter of sustaining it. That’s why we practice every day,” he added.

Island School head coach Brad Sato said the Voyagers’ team had a harder time than usual because it didn’t have its full squad available because of illness.

“Tonight, we came in undermanned. So, girls had to step up and play positions that they don’t normally play,” Sato said. “For the most part, I thought they stepped up and did well. They accepted the challenge.”

The Voyagers coach added though they’ve yet to win a match, he’s seen improvement in these first four games and hopes the team will continue to learn and grow.

“They come in and they work hard. A lot of them don’t play volleyball outside of high school,” he said. “So, for what they learned in such a short time, they’re building their confidence and that’s what we need from them. We talked about consistency. We’re working on consistency. Every day, we try to get one more, one more and again.”

Kahepuu recorded six kills, two aces, a block and an assist. Menehune senior outside hitter Ariell Aquino-Lazaro was the team’s leading scorer with 10 kills and three aces. Senior setter Alyssa Pigao had 17 assists and an ace.

Voyager sophomore outside hitter Emily Sullivan had two kills and two aces for Island School. Sophomore setter Julia Masarro had four assists and an ace, and sophomore middle McKenzie Hubbard had two blocks and a kill.

In the junior varsity match, Island School beat Waimea, 2-1, winning the first and second sets, 25-23 and 25-19. The JV Menehune won the final set, 25-12.

Waimea will play at Kauai High and Island School (0-4 KIF) will host Kapaa on Tuesday. JV matches will begin at 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

“Well, it’s always good to have great ball control. If we can control the ball, we can control what our attacks are going to be,” Delanoza said about preparing for the upcoming match against the Red Raiders.

“Our biggest thing that we need to work on is playing good group defense, a team defense, from the block to being in the right position,” he added.

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