KAPAA — The Waimea High School girls volleyball team did it again.
Saturday, the Menehune girls worked through five sets to take their match over Kapaa High School, 25-18, 24-26, 21-25, 25-22 and 16-14, before an enthusiastic audience at the Bernice Hundley Gym on the Kapaa campus.
The Menehune were joined by Kauai High School, which also claimed a five-set victory, 25-18, 25-12, 22-25, 22-25 and 15-5 over Island School at the Kauai High School gym.
“They’re legit,” said Kapaa head coach Evan Costa of Waimea. “I just found out Kauai won in five, the last set score being 15-5. We saw Kauai High School on Maui, and we know they can play. Waimea, Island School, Kauai, they all have good players and coaches, but the season is still young. There’s a lot more ball to play.”
Tight competition overflowed from the junior varsity courts as well, Kapaa dropping three to Waimea, 15-25, 24-26, and 11-25. Over at Kauai High, the Island School Voyager JV picked up their second straight win in as many outings, taking the junior Red Raiders 25-23, 25-19 and 25-9.
“We’re a young team,” said Gary Maguire, the Island School varsity head coach and assistant coach for the Voyager JV. “The varsity starters are all sophomores. We could have used some of the freshmen, but they wouldn’t have much playing time. They’re on the JV squad where they get to play.”
Waimea had to work its way up in the first set, climbing from a 5-8 deficit and knotting the match on a Kapaa service error. Gabrielle Peleras strung together five straight points, getting help from a Raelee Samio block for a 13-8 lead.
Kapaa battled back behind hits from Keani Tolenoa and a tandem blocking effort from Maeha Piturachsatit and Leipua Kaui while capitalizing on Waimea net errors and a service error to pull to within a digit 16-17 on a Sydney Nice serve.
Waimea’s Anela Kilar took the serve and strung together another five unanswered points before a Kapaa error at the middle sealed the set, 25-18.
During the second set, Kapaa took the long service play as Tolenoa strung together six straight points, including an ace for the 12-5 lead before Waimea gained control on a Warrior miscue.
Waimea put together another string of seven unanswered points when Leiko Yamauchi served up the string, including an ace to knot the contest at 21-all.
Kapaa pulled ahead on a tandem block from Talia Washington and Lani Alo, only to deadlock the match, 23-23 on a service error, going ahead on a Washington hit up the middle and sealing the set on a Waimea hitting error.
The seesaw continued until the final set, when an ace from Haylee Garcia-Raquel pulled Kapaa to a 13-13 stalemate. Garcia-Raquel’s second serve put the Warriors up 14-13, but her third serve missed to knot the match at 14-all.
Another Kapaa error put Waimea up 15-14 before Costa called a time out. The break did not work as a Kapaa hitting error sealed the deal, 16-14 for Waimea.
“This game could have gone either way,” said Chad Delanoza, the Waimea coach. “The good things about this game was the service strings, and the girls played good team defense on critical points. But the bad thing about tonight is whenever we had the lead, we let them back in the game.”
Costa said he wanted to close in four sets, but that did not happen as the Menehune built a 14-8 lead behind hits from Daysha Nelmida-Rice, Peleras, Keana Silva, and Kapaa committing a net violation.
Kapaa answered with Tolenoa in the service block putting together five unanswered points, including an ace and hits from Washington and Keegan Kessler, but shots from Nelmida-Rice and Peleras forced the fifth set.
The Warriors next travel to Kauai High School Wednesday when the JV match begins at 5 p.m. and the varsity game starts no earlier than 6:30 p.m.
Waimea will visit the Wilcox Gymnasium at Island School with the JV match starting at 5 p.m. and the varsity match starting no earlier than 6:30 p.m.