Kenai Central’s Brooke Ashley attacks Soldotna’s Jolie Widaman on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Brooke Ashley attacks Soldotna’s Jolie Widaman on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai volleyball sweeps Soldotna

Kards prevail on SoHi’s home floor

Homecoming. Senior night. Loud crowd. Big rivalry.

A lot was going against the Kenai Central volleyball team Friday night, but the Kardinals continued to show that doesn’t matter.

The Kards swept the Stars 25-14, 26-24 and 25-17 to move to 4-0 on the season and drop SoHi to 2-2. Kenai has yet to lose a game in a best-of-five-sets match.

“Kenai is a juggernaut of a volleyball team,” Soldotna coach Luke Baumer said.

Soldotna started slow after honoring seniors Morgan Bouschor, Sarah Rice, Abbie Fullenwinder, Sierra Kuntz and Taylor Edwards before the match.

A spurt of service points by Kenai’s Bethany Morris in the middle of the game meant the first game was never really close.

Kenai then led 20-17 in the second game before Edwards stepped to the service line. She ripped off seven straight points, six coming on aces, before Abby Every made it 24-21 with a kill for the Kards.

“Taylor served fantastic,” Kenai coach Tracie Beck said. “She did everything she could for them to win. That’s what senior night is all about.”

Even after the late-game haywinder from Edwards, Kenai rose by showing a characteristic that marks all great volleyball teams.

“They just keep playing with their nose to the grindstone,” Beck said of her squad. “They just know they can win.”

Taking advantage of a series of Soldotna hitting errors, Every served out five straight points for the victory.

Baumer said his team’s inexperience showed at the end of Game 2. SoHi has two returning starters, but that’s it for varsity experience.

“The Kenai crowd stepped in and got loud,” Baumer said. “Our girls made one mistake and turned cautious instead of being confident in what they were doing.

“We had the game in the bag. We just lost confidence.”

The Kards then zoomed to the three-game sweep, with Every punctuating the third game with a kill.

“Bethany and Abby — we tried our best to find a way to control them,” Baumer said. “They are tough hitters to try and control.”

According to Beck, Morris had some soreness in her hitting arm. She still had 11 digs, seven kills and three aces, while Every had 21 digs and nine kills.

Setter Kaylee Lauritsen, who had 20 assists, 12 digs and two aces, also mixed in six kills from Andie Galloway and five kills from Erin Koziczkowski.

“She’s as solid as they come,” Beck said of her setter. “She’s all over the court.”

Despite the loss, Baumer said the match was a step forward because his team looked so much more cohesive than in a loss to Homer the last time out.

“It was night and day from what I saw in Homer,” Baumer said.

Aleena Zener had 15 digs for the Stars. Baumer said his libero did a great job. He said the Stars have athletic blockers this year, but their arms aren’t long enough for a lot of stuff blocks, so Zener has to pick up balls behind them.

Bouschor had eight digs and eight kills for the Stars, while Jolie Widaman had 14 assists, Rice had 10 kills, Edwards had six aces and Kuntz had 11 assists.

Soldotna’s Sierra Kuntz and Bethany Richmond put up a block on Kenai Central’s Andie Galloway on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Sierra Kuntz and Bethany Richmond put up a block on Kenai Central’s Andie Galloway on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Bethany Richmond attacks Kenai Central’s Erin Koziczkowski on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Bethany Richmond attacks Kenai Central’s Erin Koziczkowski on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

Kenai River Brown Bears defenseman Ryan Reid battles Ignat Belov of the Maine Nordiques for the puck Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears score 2 exhibition wins

The Kenai River Brown Bears notched a pair of exhibition victories over… Continue reading

A long, white strip of soft, white feathers running down the back gives the downy woodpecker its name. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS.
Refuge Notebook: The smallest woodpecker

On a recent sortie looking for grouse in the spruce forest of… Continue reading

The author is seen here, sharing the world at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Lewis)
Tangled Up in Blue: Me, me, me

When I wait until the last minute to write Tangled Up in… Continue reading

puck
ASAA delays the start of hockey to Oct. 26

The Alaska School Activities Association announced Monday that the start of the… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Jayna Boonstra receives a hug from father and Kardinals coach, Todd Boonstra, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at the ASAA cross-country running championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka)
Kenai’s Boonstra wins Division II cross-country title

SoHi finishes season of tribute to McKenney

Nikiski's Koleman McCaughey rushes against Houston on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Houston football topples Nikiski

Hawks move to Division III semis

Soldotna's Josh Heiber escapes the tackle of Kenai Central's Tucker Vann on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, at Justin Maile Field at Soldotna HIgh School. Heiber would run to the end zone on the play, but the score would not stand due to a penalty. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi football tops Kenai to close regular season

Stars’ playoff opponent goes into quarantine

The climb up April Bowl provides expansive views, seen here Aug. 3, 2020 in Hatcher Pass, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Out of the Office: Out of your bubble

Exploring wilderness around the state

Andrew Berg outside his ҈omesteadӠcabin, which stood originally on Tustumena Lake and now stands at the headquarters of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Refuge Notebook: If these walls could talk

Big game guide Berg led remarkable life

Homer’s Gracie Gummer and Kenai’s Erin Koziczkowski meet across the net during a Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 volleyball game in the Alice Witte Gymnasium in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai volleyball defeats Homer

Seward sweeps Soldotna