Kenai Central's Emma Beck attacks against Homer's Gracie Miotke and Goldie Hill on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai volleyball serves its way past Homer

The host Kenai Central volleyball team swept Homer by scores of 25-11, 25-11 and 25-12 on Tuesday in Southcentral Conference play.

The Kardinals are now 2-0 in nontournament play and 1-0 in the league, while the Mariners are 0-3 in nontournament play and 0-2 in the league.

Kenai, the defending Class 3A state champions, has come out of the gate rolling this season. The Kardinals also stormed through the Shayna Pritchard Memorial Tournament over the weekend in Nikiski without losing a game.

Kenai Central head coach Tracie Beck said she told her team to focus on serving tough in the tournament. That approach continued to pay off Tuesday against Homer.

The Kardinals had 13 aces, with Emma Beck and Ellsi Miller leading the way with four apiece.

“We’re not necessarily known for dominance in serving,” coach Beck said. “I’m glad to see we’re making progress in that area.”

Homer head coach Ian Overson said he has a younger group that does not yet have a lot of experience. He said the Mariners were able to pass Kenai’s serve a little later in the the match, but that the Kards used the serve the cruise early.

“You could see right at the beginning that they were timid on their serve-receive,” Overson said of his squad. “They just weren’t ready to pass it.

“And then they got into their groove a little bit.”

Overson liked the way his team looked in large stretches of the third game.

“I know they can play at that level all the time, because I’ve seen it in practice and other games,” he said.

Making matters worse for Homer is Overson said some of his squad’s serves were not of the highest quality. Overson said the two keys of the game for him are serving and serve-receive and the Kards controlled both.

“I was tickled about the serves and the serve-receive too,” coach Beck said. “Homer’s setter has a fierce float. You get a good pass on that, and it’s great practice.”

Overson praised setter Rebecca Trowbridge, who had 17 assists, for all the work she has to put in during the match.

He also said Channing Lowney, with eight kills, had a good night attacking. Gracie Miotke added six kills, while Addi Grimes had 11 digs.

Beck was happy with the concentration all 13 varsity players summoned for a match during homecoming week. She went with three different lineups and got everybody some touches.

“Everybody that stepped in did a good job playing,” Beck said. “We really didn’t skip a beat.”

Kate Wisnewski had 18 assists, six digs and two kills for the Kardinals, while Emma Beck had eight kills and six digs, Jaycie Castillo had 16 digs and Sophie Tapley had two kills.

Homer's Alivia Fefelov and Goldie Hill put up a block against Kenai Central's Stella Selanoff on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Homer's Channing Lowney attacks against Kenai Central's Avia Miller and Sophie Tapley on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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