WAIMEA — Waimea senior Keana Silva served up a string of 15 unanswered points to drive the Menehune to a straight set win — 25-21, 25-22, and 25-8 — over Kapaa High School on Wednesday before a strong home crowd showing at the Clem Gomes Gym.
“The girls are beginning to realize what they need to do, not what we want them to do,” said Chad Delanoza, Waimea coach. “They played with a little heart, a lot of grit, and came back fighting.”
Waimea opened the night a little “tentative,” allowing Kapaa to deadlock the opening set, 9-9 behind a passing error and took the go-ahead 11-9 behind a hit from Isabella Bateman. But the seesaw did not settle as Kapaa answered on a Talia Washington bang to deadlock the set, 11-11.
“The girls are doing much better,” said Kapaa coach Ari Logan. “We worked on everything across the board during practice, but we still have a ways to go.”
Gabrielle Peleras put the Menehune up, 19-15 on solid hitting and getting help from a Bateman bang and Maya Nakaahiki.
Kapaa refused to roll over, pulling back on Waimea miscues and deadlocking the match, 19-19 on a Talia Washington ace.
Hits from Raelee Samio and Kaye Serapio combined with Kapaa errors to put away the set, 25-21 on a Leiko Yamauchi slam.
The Warriors clawed back from a 1-6 deficit in the second set to a 7-7 tie, capitalizing on Menehune court violations, and surged to an 11-7 lead behind a nice Warrior block at the net. Hits from Lani Alo and Sydney Nice put Kapaa up 17-9.
Kapaa continued to hold on, a Keegan Kesler ace keeping the ball on the Kapaa side, 22-21, before Waimea put away the game on a Silva hit and Kapaa errors.
“That set was a changer,” Delanoza said. “The girls came back from that strong Kapaa lead in a pressure situation. The set could’ve changed the dynamics.”
Waimea hosts Kauai High School Saturday while the Warriors travel to the Wilcox Gymnasium at Island School. Junior varsity matches start at 5 p.m. with the varsity games starting no earlier than 6:30 p.m.
“We need to work on discipline,” Logan said. “Communication — we want the girls talking all the time.”
Delanoza said the Menehune also have a lot of work ahead of them before taking on Kauai High School for the second time this season.
“We’ve got to work on a whole lot of fundamentals,” Delanoza said. “We cut down on some of the unforced errors, but there is still a lot more to work on. It’s going to be a struggle because all of the teams are good, and as the season progresses, everyone is just going to get better.”
Earlier in the evening, the Junior Varsity Menehune took the JV Warriors in straight sets — 25-15, 25-9, and 25-11 — to complete a Menehune sweep during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball game.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.