Menehune win in straight sets

LIHUE — Waimea High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Kauai High, 3-0, Tuesday afternoon at the Red Raiders’ home gym.

“We finally feel like we came ready to play,” said Waimea head coach Alton Shimatsu. “Our game plan coming in was just focus on ourselves and cut down on our own errors. We did a much better job of that tonight compared to our first four games.”

The Menehune boys (4-0 KIF) came from behind to win the first set, 25-22.

“In practice, we tried to improve on what we were not doing our best in, such as talking and just meshing as a team,” said Waimea junior setter Carl Mecham. “We talked about it before the game — talking and communicating with each other. It just worked out perfectly for us, and came out with a three-set sweep.”

Waimea then went on to win the next two frames, 25-15 and 25-6.

“We still had to focus through every point. We never want it to be our fault why the game is so close,” Shimatsu said. “We don’t want to give away points, as (does) any team. We came in here focusing on ourselves, and I think that made a big difference.”

Attack errors mostly undid the Red Raiders’ efforts in the later two sets. Kauai High head coach Enoch Aana said as mistakes happened, it had a snowball effect as the match progressed.

“That’s what happens when you get a young team. Once they make a mistake, they hold the whole team on their shoulders. And they’re not able to let go and just go on to the next point,” he said. “I tried. I tried to have them find the fire in their eyes. They have to find it. As coaches, we can give them the tools. But they have to build the house.”

Aana added the team now must focus on finding its groove for the season’s second round.

“We’re trying out things. My whole thing is that this is the end of the first round. We really have to focus on the second round and what we need to better ourselves,” Aana said. “It’s just all mentality things. These are a bunch of great boys that play for us, but they just somehow can’t seem to get that one fit. So, we need to work hard to find that fit.”

Mecham recorded eight kills, nine assists and two aces for Waimea. Senior setter Briggs Agu had six kills, 10 assists and two aces. Senior outside hitter Noah Alejandro had six kills, two aces and a block.

Red Raiders junior setter Tyron Libarios-Moses had two kills, six assists and a dig for Kauai High. junior setter Jhay Karl Miguel had five assists and a kill. Freshman middle blocker Joshua Rivera, who was brought up from the junior varsity team, had three kills.

Kauai High won the JV match, 2-1, winning the first and third sets, 25-16 and 25-14. The JV Menehune won the second set, 25-22.

In the night’s other Kauai Interscholastic Federation match, Kapaa defeated Island School in straight sets, 25-14, 25-13 and 25-11. The JV Warriors also won, 2-1, winning the second and third sets, 25-17 and 25-18. Island School won that opening set, 25-22.

Waimea will host Kapaa (4-0 KIF) and Kauai High (1-4 KIF) will host Island School (0-5 KIF) on Friday. The JV matches will begin at 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

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