Menehune girls rout Raiders

WAIMEA — Three teams are now in a dead heat for the season’s second round.

Waimea High School’s varsity girls volleyball team defeated Kauai High in straight sets Tuesday evening — 25-13, 25-23 and 25-10.

“You can only imagine it until the game is actually played (and see) what they do,” Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza said of beating Kauai in a sweep. “They came out ready to play, and the ball just kind of bounced our way tonight. We took care of the things we needed to, like I told we were going to do Saturday morning at practice after the Kapaa match, and it showed.”

In the night’s other Kauai Interscholastic Federation varsity girls volleyball match, Kapaa won in straight sets at Island School — 25-10, 25-15 and 25-16.

With Tuesday’s results, Kapaa, Kauai and Waimea are all 2-1 in the second round with three games left in the season.

“Everybody’s getting better. All the schools are getting better, and it should make for an exciting second round in the KIF,” Delanoza said. “It makes teams that represent the KIF much more prepared, as we’ve done in the past. It’s a good thing to see. It makes us, as coaches, be more focused on what we’re doing with our plans and giving them some direction.”

About the win against Kauai, Delanoza added his team played “a complete game.”

“We don’t pull back on the reigns on anything,” the Menehune coach said. “We got to come here ready to play, and it’s (about) preparation for us in everything we do. You cannot really pinpoint how it went. Just everybody had done their job like we ask them to, and they did it with some passion behind it. To me, that was the big key.”

Kauai head coach Dorene Matias said her team simply had an off-night.

“I think we need to get back to the gym and work, get ready for our next game and refocus. Playing those games in the middle of the week is hard,” Matias said. “They just need to go back to basics, start to focus and remember what their job is.”

With the season winding down, Matias said her team cannot get distracted, but instead center its attention on what they can control.

“Try to play together and continue to work towards their goals — their team goals. That’s what they need to do,” she said.

Menehune sophomore setter Gabrielle Peleras had eight kills, including the set-winner in the opening set, 10 assists and two aces for Waimea. Fellow sophomore setter Leiko Yamauchi had four kills, including the set-winner in the second set, four aces and 11 assists for Waimea. Senior middle blocker Shania Kahepuu had eight kills. Sophomore outside hitter Kahele Kaohelaulii had five kills and an ace.

Junior middle Rachel Curnan totaled five kills and a block for Kauai High. Junior libero Tia Takasaki had eight digs and an ace. Senior setter Sierra Fernandez had six assists. Senior middle back Kahe Degracia had three digs and an ace.

In Tuesday’s junior varsity matches, Kauai swept Waimea — 25-22, 24-13 and 25-12 — and Kapaa beat Island School — 25-18 and 25-19. The result of the third set between the JV Warriors and JV Voyagers were not available.

Waimea (5-4 KIF, 2-1 2nd round) will host Island School (0-9 KIF, 0-3 2nd round) and Kapaa (7-2 KIF, 2-1 2nd round) will host Kauai (6-3 KIF, 2-1 2nd round) on Friday. The JV games will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

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