WAIMEA — Halia Moriguchi drew the audience’s attention when she smashed a ball up the middle against Island School to break up the struggle to find the floor, Tuesday at the Clem Gomes Gym.
Moriguchi, whose shot opened the scorebooks for Waimea in the first set following a 5-0 Voyager lead, continued to plug the middle with help from Safina Sandblom to keep the Voyagers at bay. She capped her strong night on the court by slamming the final Menehune point for the Waimea 3-0 win over Island School, 25-12, 25-19, and 25-9.
“All I can say about this game is hustle and heart,” said Waimea coach Brandi Hori Moises. “We have just keep going.”
Earlier in the evening, the Menehune Junior Varsity dropped its opening set against the Voyagers, and rebounded to take the series, 22-25, 25-20, and 25-17 before the audience that vocally cheered on good play from both benches.
Over at the Bernice Hundley Gym on the Kapa‘a High School campus, Kaua‘i High School split its outing against the Lady Warriors as the Red Raider JV fell 20-25, 25-22, and 21-25 to the JV Lady Warriors.
The Varsity Red Raiders redeemed that opening loss by taking three sets over Kapa‘a, 25-21, 25-12, and 25-10.
The Waimea win over Island School settled the battle of the undefeated with the Menehune being undefeated entering the second half of the first round.
Friday night starts the second half of the first round when Waimea makes the trip to the Bernice Hundley Gym to take on the Kapa‘a squad that is still trying to find the elusive “W.” Kaua‘i High School, with its varsity team suffering losses to both Island School, and Waimea High School, travels to the Wilcox Gymnasium on the Island School campus for its second meeting against the Voyagers.
The JV contest starts at 5 p.m. at both venues with the varsity contests starting 25 minutes following the completion of the JV games.
Island School came to play, Tuesday by opening the scorebooks, a feat rarely allowed by the Menehune. Including an ace by Voyager Brooklyn Valentino, Waimea took an early time out to stop the bleeding.
Moriguchi made the opening statement on a string of Braeanna Moises serves that netted 11 unanswered points that came on hits by Moriguchi, Kaimalie Alquiza, and court miscues by the Voyagers for the 11-5 go-ahead.
Waimea’s Malu Alquiza Kenney served up another 10-point string that included whacks from Kaiea Hui Hui Caberto before Island School’s Brittany Valentino stopped the scoreboard at a 22-10 Menehune bulge. Points from Braeanna Moises and Kaiea Hui Hui Caberto sealed the deal, 25-12.
The Voyagers came back in the second set to stay close, within four points, of the Menehune before pulling ahead on a string of five points that included scoring hits from Safina Sandblom and Kaimalie Alquiza.
Waimea’s Kaiea Hui Hui Caberto broke the Menehune away in the setter’s box with a string of nine unanswered points from the 13-7 mark in the final set. The string included hits from Sandblom, Kaiea Hui Hui Caberto, Braeanna Moises, and Kaimalie Alquiza before Moriguchi closed the door.
• Waimea JV over Island School 22-25, 25-20, 25-17.
• Waimea Varsity over Island School 25-12, 25-19, 25-9.
• Kapa‘a JV over Kaua‘i JV 25-20, 22-25, 25-21.
• Kaua‘i Varsity over Kapa‘a Varsity 25-21, 25-12, 25-10.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island