The Nikiski Bulldogs opened their Southcentral Conference volleyball campaign with a 3-1 match victory Thursday night in Seward.
On the heels of three straight tournament titles in three weekends, the Bulldogs came out slow but gained steam to win with scores of 18-25, 25-15 27-25 and 25-18.
Nikiski head coach Stacey Segura said the recent run of success to start the volleyball season seemed to have an affect on her players, as an opening set loss to the Seahawks indicated.
“This week we seemed a little flat in practice, we definitely showed that in the first game,” Segura said. “We didn’t have the best warmup, and we spent the rest of the game trying to work out of that flatness. It was like they had to force themselves to do it, it didn’t come naturally.”
However, once the Bulldogs (1-0 conference) put it together, they were able to secure the win.
Senior middle hitter Bethany Carstens led the attack with nine kills and three blocks, while Kaycee Bostic had seven kills and five aces.
On defense, America Jeffreys took charge with 15 digs while teammates Emma Wik had 11 assists, Kelsey Clark had five aces and 20 digs and Kaitlyn Johnson notched six assists.
Soldotna 3, Houston 0
The Stars rolled to a three-game sweep of nonconference opponent Houston Thursday with scores of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-20.
SoHi pushed its early season record to 4-0 overall. SoHi will face Northern Lights Conference opponent Palmer tonight at 6:30 p.m. with a 2-0 NLC record on the line. Soldotna and Palmer will play again Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Stars head coach Sheila Kupferschmid said she was happy to get every player on the court at some point, which she hopes will help the team through an early slate of conference matchups.
“It cemented it for me that my nucleus is rather large,” Kupferschmid said. “Typically we have seven or eight players in our nucleus, but we have probably 10 to 11 starters right now.
“We’re really balanced, and that can be really effective.”
Serena Foglia led the SoHi charge with 14 game points and four aces, while teammate senior Aliann Schmidt plastered Houston with five kills. Ituau Tuisaula added eight game points and three blocks, and Kodi McGillivray and Bailey Leach notched four kills each.
On defense, Holleigh Jaime provided 13 digs and six points.