Voyagers defend home court

PUHI — After losing the first set, the Voyager girls recovered to win at home in four.

Island School’s varsity girls volleyball team defeated Kauai High at the Wilcox Gymnasium on Tuesday evening, 3-1.

“The girls have been working hard to start playing as a team, to start playing in a zone where they can be comfortable and loose,” said Island School head coach Gary Maguire. “We had a rough start. Kauai High is a very good team. Once they settled down, they were able to play. And like we told them, ‘Let’s just start building momentum.’ They’re good girls, and they’re playing well together.”

Following the early loss, Island School (2-3 KIF) went on to win the next three sets — 25-19, 25-19 and 25-23.

Voyagers sophomore outside hitter Ashley Mecham totaled a game-high 29 kills, including the game-winner in the second set, as well as six digs and four assists.

“I think we just started to get our head in the game,” Mecham said. “We all started to notice that we’re not playing together as a team, and we’re not playing to our fullest. So, we just pushed everybody together and we just tried to come together and play as the team we are, and lessen our mistakes.”

Kauai High (3-2 KIF) won the opening set, 25-16.

“We showed up in the first one, and then I think mentally we just took them too lightly,” said Kauai head coach Kehaulani Regidor. “And, again, our errors. At crucial times, we made errors. And, yeah, ball control. The ball control (part), that’s what we didn’t do well.”

In the night’s other varsity match, Waimea (4-1 KIF) defeated Kapaa (1-4 KIF) in straight sets at the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea — 25-21, 25-11 and 25-18.

The season’s first round will conclude Friday when Island School plays at Waimea and Kauai High hosts Kapaa. The junior varsity matches will begin at 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

A Menehune win over the Voyagers will award Waimea the first round. If Waimea loses and Kauai High wins on Friday, then both teams will be tied with 4-2 records and the teams will play a one-game playoff for the first round.

A date and location will be determined for the playoff game if necessary.

“It’s still important. So, we got to practice hard and do our best,” Regidor said. “We got to come out strong. We’re at home, so (we have) home-court advantage. Whatever happens, happens for a reason.”

Maguire said of Friday’s match at Waimea: “Our goal is to just keep building momentum, and let it pan out however it is. Each game is a big game for us. We come in, and our toughest team is sometimes ourselves. We’ll play within our means, and whatever happens, happens.”

Voyagers sophomore outside hitter Izzy Ancharski had nine kills — including the game-winners in the second and fourth sets — and seven digs for Island School. Senior setter Emma Kelekoma had 20 assists, two kills, an ace and four digs.

Sophomore setter Waileia Edwards had 15 assists, four kills, an ace and six digs for Island School. Senior middle Sydney Agudong had five digs and an ace.

Red Raiders junior middle Hailey Iha had 10 kills, including the winner in the opening set, and one ace for Kauai High. Senior right-side hitter Rachel Curnan had eight kills.

Sophomore setter Vanessa Alcones had 16 assists and three digs for Kauai. Junior setter Kaytlyn Perlas had 11 assists, two aces and five digs. Sophomore libero Darien Kealoha-Albarado had six digs, two aces and an assist.

In Tuesday’s JV matches, Island School beat Kauai, 2-1 — 17-25, 25-17 and 25-12, and Waimea defeated Kapaa, 3-0 — 25-16, 25-13 and 25-12.

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