The Kenai Central volleyball team challenged themselves Thursday night to keep the visiting Cordova Wolverines under 15 points in each set.
Two out of three ain’t bad.
The Kards swept the Wolverines at Kenai Central High School with scores of 25-11, 25-19 and 25-14, getting the victory in just over an hour. With the nonconference win, Kenai bumped its record up to 4-4 overall.
“We don’t even know what that is,” said Kenai coach Tracie Beck about getting the sweep.
Beck said she used a different cast of players in all three sets, trying out different pairings and forcing the girls to adapt to the changes on the fly.
“You can relax in these games a little too much if you’re not careful,” Beck said. “I’m still tweaking my lineup, I don’t have it the way I want it yet.”
With a dominating net presence, Kenai was able to keep Cordova in check for large chunks of Thursday’s action.
Abby Beck and Kiana Harding led the attack. Beck amassed eight kills and eight digs, while Harding had five kills to go along with a deadly serving game.
“Sometimes they just throw up a single block,” Beck said. “If they’re not reading our setters, then you should be able to put the ball down, because there’s no one slowing it down.”
Amber Walters provided eight assists and Alli Steinbeck added five assists. Kenai libero Jamie Bagley notched 14 digs
After a dominant opening set, Kenai came out in the second with a different look after Beck’s experimenting, and came away with the six-point victory.
“Having three different lineups pushes the girls,” Beck said. “They can’t just relax and go into their normal places, their homes. They have to be thinking the whole time.”
Harboring thoughts of a comeback, Cordova staked out an early 8-5 lead in the third set, but Kenai scored five straight points reassert its dominance. The Kards managed to grow the gap to 19-12 before Cordova coach Janelle Greenwood called a timeout.
With the 15-point challenge in mind, the final point of the third set came down to a Kenai serve from Beck. Harding and Alexis Baker formed a blocking unit that left the Wolverines scrambling, and a tip from Steinbeck resulted in a Cordova player putting the ball into the net and preserving the shutout.
“That’s exciting for us, to finish in three and have confidence that no matter who I put where, everybody played it easily,” Beck said.
Cordova was led by senior middle hitter Sarah Hoepfner with five blocks and three kills. Greenwood said she was particularly pleased with the serving by junior setter Katie Bailer.
Kenai will host Seward tonight at 5:30 p.m., before traveling up for a Valley swing next weekend.