Menehune volleyball boys still in 2nd round hunt

WAIMEA — The boys in blue are still in contention for the second round.

Waimea High School’s varsity boys volleyball team defeated Kauai High in straight sets at home Tuesday evening. The Menehune won those three sets — 25-23, 25-21 and 25-22.

“All we had to do was be ourselves,” said Waimea head coach Alton Shimatsu. “There was a lot of people in the gym. I think these boys realized they could push themselves through some limits that they thought they couldn’t go.”

Kauai High had a five-point lead midway through the third set, but Waimea (8-3 KIF, 4-1 2nd round) worked its way out of the deficit to even the score at 16 apiece. An ace by Menehune senior outside hitter Noah Alejandro gave Waimea the lead, and the home team kept that lead through the end of the set.

“We did well incorporating our new setter (freshman Shayne Simbre-Medeiros), who came up from the JV,” said senior setter Briggs Agu. “He stepped up. He stepped up to the role. He played a huge part in this win.”

Late in the first set, Kauai High (3-8 KIF, 1-4 2nd round) led 23-21 and was in position to win the opening frame. Waimea would even the score at 23-23. An ace by Menehune sophomore setter Regis Lomongo and a Red Raiders error won Waimea the set.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out our way. But they gave it their best, and that’s all we can ask as a coach,” said Kauai High head coach Enoch Aana. “Other than the outcome, I’m really proud of the way they played.”

Red Raiders junior setter Tyron Libarios-Moses said: “We came out strong, but we never finished. … Once they catch up, we just lost the momentum, and we couldn’t get it back. We couldn’t keep that lead.”

Tuesday was Waimea’s senior night. Three Menehune seniors were acknowledged prior to the match — Agu, Alejandro and middle blocker Keahi Kanahele.

“Winning on this night, it means a lot. It’s our last game that was scheduled for home,” Agu said. “Hopefully, it’s not the last.”

Agu had seven kills, eight assists, two blocks and an ace for Waimea. Alejandro had six kills and an ace. Lomongo had three aces. Simbre-Medeiros had eight assists.

Libarios-Moses had three kills, 14 assists and four blocks for Kauai High. Freshman middle blocker Joshua Rivera had six kills and two blocks. Senior outside hitter Damien Butac had four kills, three blocks, two digs and an ace. Junior libero Bryson Carbonel had six digs.

Waimea also won the junior varsity match, 2-1. The JV Menehune won the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-15. The JV Red Raiders won the third set, 25-22.

In the night’s other varsity boys volleyball contest, Kapaa (11-0 KIF, 5-0 2nd round) defeated Island School in straight sets — 25-10, 25-16 and 25-18.

The boys volleyball season finales will be played Saturday. The matches were rescheduled because the Kauai Interscholastic Federation track championships will take place Friday evening at Vidinha Stadium.

Island School (0-11 KIF, 0-5 2nd round) will host Kauai High. The junior varsity match will begin 9 a.m. and the varsity will follow.

Kapaa will host Waimea. The JV match will begin the usual 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

If Kapaa wins Saturday’s match, the Warriors will win the season’s second round and clinch the KIF championship. If Waimea wins, a second round playoff game will be played at a date and location to be determined.

“We just got to come out and play. It could possibly be our last game, but we want to extend the season,” Shimatsu said of the upcoming match at Kapaa. “We got to come out confident in ourselves that we can get the job done.”

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