Waimea wins sea­son’s 1st round

Mene­hune girls beat Voy­agers in straight sets to clinch

The Garden Island - - Morning Briefing - Nick Ce­lario

WAIMEA — The Mene­hune won at home to clinch the sea­son’s first round.

Waimea High School’s var­sity girls vol­ley­ball team de­feated Is­land School in straight sets Fri­day night at the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea — 25-7, 25-23 and 25-12.

“It’s tough just to win a game. To win a round, it’s a big ac­com­plish­ment for us,” said Waimea head coach Chad De­lanoza. “It starts with our coach­ing staff as well as th­ese kids, but our coach­ing staff re­ally helped them pre­pare to do their job well.”

Waimea (5-1 KIF) to­taled 12 aces en route to de­feat­ing Is­land. Mene­hune ju­nior set­ter Leiko Ya­mauchi scored four aces, and sopho­more libero Te­hani To­gioka had three.

De­lanoza said since the team’s only loss, a straight­set de­feat to Kauai High on Sept. 9, the team has def­i­nitely kicked things up a few gears.

“Prac­tices for us have been re­ally great,” he said. “We’ve had to do tweak­ing (and) tin­ker­ing here and there with what we’ve done from that Kauai High School match. Like I said, all in all, our coach­ing staff re­ally played a big, huge part with what we did in the be­gin­ning of the week and what we did to­day.”

Is­land School (2-4 KIF) had an early 6-0 lead in the sec­ond set. Waimea, though, caught up and took a 12-11 mid­way and kept the lead through the end to win a closely con­tested set.

“I think Waimea’s a great team, and they played well,” said Is­land School head coach Gary Maguire. “They passed, and their set­ter did an awe­some job mov­ing the ball around. And they hit well.”

Con­sis­tency was key for both teams, Maguire added.

“We started off good (in the sec­ond set). Waimea had a few mis­takes, and stuff like that, to re­ally give us an op­por­tu­nity to take a lead,” Maguire said. “But in the long run, they stayed con­sis­tent and our girls strug­gled a lit­tle bit on pass­ing and set­ting. Just a dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­nity on man­ag­ing the game, but Waimea did re­ally good tonight.”

Ya­mauchi fin­ished with a game-high 21 as­sists as well as five kills, four aces and three digs. Mene­hune ju­nior out­side hit­ter Gabrielle Pel­eras led the team with 11 kills and an ace.

Ju­nior out­side hit­ter Daysha Nelmida-Rice had six kills, an ace and two digs for Waimea. Sopho­more de­fen­sive spe­cial­ist Jas Hen­rick­son had six digs and an ace.

Voy­agers sopho­more out­side hit­ter Ash­ley Mecham to­taled 12 digs and four digs for Is­land. Se­nior set­ter Emma Kelekoma had six as­sists, three digs and an ace. Sopho­more set­ter Wailea Ed­wards had five digs, four as­sists and one kill.

Waimea also won the ju­nior var­sity con­test against Is­land School — 25-14, 25-11 and 25-14.

In the night’s other var­sity con­test, Kauai High de­feated Ka­paa at home, 3-1 — 25-12, 25-18, 17-25 and 2521. Kauai High fin­ished the first round 4-2, and Ka­paa fin­ished 1-5.

Kauai also won the JV match, 2-1 — 18-25, 25-11 and 25-21.

The sea­son’s sec­ond round be­gins Sept. 26 when Kauai High hosts Waimea, and Ka­paa hosts Is­land School. The JV matches will be­gin 5 p.m. and the var­sity will fol­low.

Waimea’s Gabrielle Pel­eras digs out a save as KIF of­fi­cial Peter Kruse and Is­land School coaches Gary Maguire and Tescily Eng­land look on in the third set.

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