LIHU‘E — The last time the Menehune took on the Red Raiders, it proved to be Waimea's toughest test of the season. The Menehune eventually won in a tie break, but it was the first time Waimea had been pushed past anything other than three sets. Saturday Kaua‘i hosted the undefeated Menehune once again at the Kaua‘i High School gym. And almost in direct reflection from the previous game Waimea would drop the opening set to Kaua‘i in a hard fought back and forth that ended 28-26 in favor of the Red Raiders, however the Menehune would bounce back to take the match winning the next three sets, 25-18, 25-18 and 25-13 leaving them with the 3-1 win and still undefeated.
Waimea took the early lead in set one thanks to Bailey San Agustin, Lei Alejandro and Kawena Warren, however the Red Raiders would battle back to make it 5-5, and it would remain tight for the duration. The lead would change hands non times during the opening set with the Menehune appearing to have started to take control up 19-16. A pair of kills from Gilian Gregorio would bring the Red Raiders roaring back, and an amazing service run from Taylor Young would eventually push the Red Raiders to take a 22-21 lead. The lead would change hands twice more before Kaua‘i would finally put the Menehune away. Aided by a Kawehi Louis-Diamond and Kristle Henry kill, the Red Raiders final got a set winning ace from Adrienne Graycochea.
What has made Waimea so tough is its ability to comeback when it is down. Saturday night was no exception as they came out firing in the second set. The Red Raider would tie the set at 5, unfortunately for Kaua‘i that is as close as they would get the rest of the set. Bailey and Paige Ando had a fantastic service set with both staying on the line for six consecutive points. Ando had a fantastic all around game causing havoc at the night as well as the service line. Eventually a Warren and Mariyah Oliver kill would finish the set at 25-18 in favor of the Menehune.
The third set centered around Warren, as she was able to control Kaua‘i's power game by patrolling the net coming up with big blocks and a few kills of her own. Warren's play helped the Menehune get out to an 11-2 lead early and it would never relinquish its lead. There were moments when the Red Raider appeared as it may make a run coming within three points of Waimea, but the combination of Ando, Warren and Bailey setting them up would keep the Menehune firmly on top and capture the 25-18 win and the important 2-1 lead.
The fourth set saw the Red Raiders come out looking tired, they made unforced errors which aided the Menehune, who looked invigorated after coming back from being down a set. One again for the Menehune it was the usual suspects doing its damage as Warren, Ando, Bailey and Oliver all doing their part as the team went on to a dominating 25-13 win and victory in the match 3-1.
Kaua‘i got good play from Louis-Diamond at the net as well as Ashley Ramelb who did a nice job setting for her teammates.