Waimea advances to D2 semifinals

Waimea High School’s varsity girls volleyball team advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 New City Nissan Girls Volleyball State Championships–Division II tournament.

Waimea defeated No. 4 seed Kaiser High School of the Oahu Interscholastic Association in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon at Saint Francis School in Honolulu, 3-1 — 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13.

“They went through a lot of things that was giving us problems,” said Waimea head coach Chad Delanoza in a phone interview Thursday. “They sorted out a lot of things — their play, being on the same page, working to get in sync. It worked out well for us in game one and game two. We had, I think, seven-point leads at some points.

“And then, we had to learn how to finish matches, which is what we’ve been working on before heading up to states. That’s basically the biggest challenge, just like back home. They did that well. They played great team defense. The outcome, it was surprising but not surprising because I know they have the talent to do that.”

Menehune senior outside hitter Gabrielle Peleras led Waimea with 19 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Raelee Samio had 12 kills.

Kaiser’s Jaylynn Nihipali had 11 kills.

The Menehune girls will play either No. 1 seed Mid-Pacific Institute of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu or Sacred Hearts Academy also of the ILH.

Mid-Pac and Sacred Hearts played in the quarterfinals Thursday evening. Results of that match was not available by press time.

“Playing in the semifinals, for us, it’s uncharted waters. This group hasn’t been here (before),” Delanoza said. “I think the last time we were in the semifinals, it was my third year or second year coaching. It was a challenge. It was a blast. We have things that we set out to do. So far, that’s what keeping them in the matches. I’m looking forward to a good game. I know both coaches from Mid-Pac and Sacred Hearts. I know it’s going to be a great game.”

In the first round Wednesday, Waimea beat Hana High School of the Maui Interscholastic League at Saint Francis School, 3-1 — 25-13, 14-25, 25-12, 25-16.

Information from Hawaii High School Athletic Association and ScoringLive.

Thursday’s Division II results

– Consolation: Leilehua (OIA) 2, Hawaii Prep (BIIF) 1; 25-16, 20-25, 15-5

– Consolation: Hana (MIL) 2, Konawaena (BIIF) 0; 27-25, 25-21

– Quarterfinals: Waimea (KIF) 3, No. 4 Kaiser (OIA) 1; 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13

– Quarterfinals: Damien (ILH) 3, No. 3 Kohala (BIIF) 0; 25-11, 25-11, 25-19

– Quarterfinals: No. 1 Mid-Pacific (ILH) vs. Sacred Hearts (ILH), not available by press time.

– Quarterfinals: No. 2 Seabury Hall (MIL) vs. Le Jardin (ILH), not available by press time.

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Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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