PUHI — The Island School Voyagers rose to beat Waimea 3-1 Friday to claim the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation varsity boys volleyball first round.
Playing before a near full house at the Wilcox Gymnasium on the Island School campus, the Voyagers dropped their first set, 20-25 to the Menehune, who controlled the tempo of the contest behind strong hitting from Kevin Valenciano and Isaiah Espanto and some spicy points from Jonah Sandal.
The Voyagers adjusted from that opening set, where they never had the lead at any point, making a strong statement in the second set by claiming the first points behind hits from Josh Dobashi and Dylan Date.
Espanto and Ty Tsukayama kept the Menehune close, knotting the set at 10, 11, 16, 17 and 20 before the Voyagers eked out the 25-21 win on hits by Dobashi and Michael Fitzgeralad.
At one point in the third set, the Voyagers held a 17-9 lead over the Menehune, whose Espanto was quieted with the strong trio of Hanalei Wann-Keli‘iho‘omalu, Dobashi and Date. The Menehune clawed back on a string of Valenciano serves that included an ace mixed in with Voyager miscues and a strong hammer from Waimea middle Kelani Lewis to pull within four, 20-16. Despite point exchanges, neither team could get the better of each other until Wann-Keli‘iho‘omalu put away the contest, 25-23.
The seesaw battle continued for the remaining two sets, with Island School taking them both, 25-23 and 25-19, to claim the KIF first round honors.
Earlier in the night, the Voyagers managed one set, 25-20, but dropped two sets in the three-set series, 24-26 and 17-25 to give the junior varsity series to the Menehune.
Over at the Kaua‘i High School gym, the host Red Raiders took both ends of its games against Kapa‘a, starting by taking the JV series, 27-25 25-17 and dropping the third set 17-15.
The Red Raider varsity continued its momentum following a five-set win over Waimea last week to sweep the Warriors, 25-20, 25-20 and 25-20.
The KIF opens round two of boys volleyball Tuesday when Waimea makes the trip over to the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapa‘a and the Voyagers host Kaua‘i High School at the Wilcox Gymnasium. The first serve in the JV games goes off at 5 p.m. at both sites, and the varsity contests follow the JV games, but not earlier than 6:30 p.m.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island