Nikiski senior Emma Wik sets up a shot Friday night against the Houston Hawks at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski senior Emma Wik sets up a shot Friday night against the Houston Hawks at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski netters pull off sweep over Houston

The Nikiski volleyball squad got the Bulldogs homecoming weekend off to a high start with a three-game sweep Friday night over Southcentral Conference opponent Houston.

And that came with “flat” play, according to head coach Stacey Segura.

Nikiski won with scores of 25-11, 25-16 and 25-14, upping their record to 4-1 in conference play and 5-1 overall and stamping their name as early contenders in the region. Nikiskis lone loss came against Grace Christian.

Segura said postgame she was happy to see her team prevail, but thought a lopsided win in the first set led to inconsistent play the rest of the night.

“We did well the first game, and I think they thought we could relax after that,” Segura explained. “And it’s homecoming weekend … but I’m not disappointed.”

Led by a hot-hitting sister duo of Bethany and Lillian Carstens, the Bulldogs got off to a 9-2 start before the Hawks called timeout in the first set.

After the minute-long break, Nikiski kept rolling with the next six points to stake out a 15-2 lead, with several points coming from sophomore Lillian from the outside and senior Bethany in the middle. Lillian Carstens finished with six kills and Bethany ended with five kills and a block.

A string of service points from senior Kelsey Clark helped finish off the first set. Clark finished the night with 12 digs as well.

Segura said junior Kaycee Bostic, who notched three aces and four kills, also showed big improvement in her service game.

“She did well with her serve,” Segura said. “She’s got a hard jump serve.”

The second set, however, started with Houston taking the first three points as Nikiski suffered with balls falling out of play.

The Bulldogs had the most trouble with Houston’s Jaydin Winzenburg, who countered Nikiski’s offense with a deadly service game of her own. Winzenburg helped the Hawks to an early lead in game two.

Segura said Nikiski had trouble with its own jump serve, as several of the girls on the team had been working on that in practice, but Kaitlyn Johnson helped to turn things around with two serving points in part of a mini 4-0 Nikiski run.

Houston led by as much as 11-7, but the Bulldogs swiftly turned things around with a big string of service points by Emma Wik to take the lead in a 7-0 run.

Houston got as close as 16-15 Nikiski leading, but the home team ripped off a late 8-0 run to cruise to the set win and a 2-0 match lead, capped with more strong serving from Johnson.

Nikiski got off to another rocky start in the third set, but things eventually turned the Bulldogs’ way with a dominant run of points from Bethany Carstens and Johnson at the net.

Houston closed to within 13-11, but the Bulldogs scored the next seven points to pull away for good.

Emma Wik pumped in six kills with seven assists, while Kaitlyn Johnson provided five assists to go with five aces. Angela Druesedow added four aces and America Jeffreys recorded eight digs.

Nikiski 3, Redington 0

The host Bulldogs moved to 5-1 and 6-1 by topping the Huskies 25-13, 25-11 and 25-12.

Johnson had seven assists and six aces, while Clark had three aces and 10 digs, Bethany Carstens had seven kills, Bostic had six kills, Savannah Ley had four kills and Wik had seven assists.

“Today and the whole week the girls played super consistent,” Segura said. “They didn’t get a game taken away all week.”

Segura had particular praise for Johnson, because when the play slows down, the coach said Johnson never slows down.

Nikiski senior Bethany Carstens (right) sends a ball over the net Friday night against Houston at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski senior Bethany Carstens (right) sends a ball over the net Friday night against Houston at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski junior Kaitlyn Johnson sets up a shot for a teammate Friday night against Houston at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski junior Kaitlyn Johnson sets up a shot for a teammate Friday night against Houston at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski senior Bethany Carstens attempts to get a ball by Houston’s Jaydin Winzenburg (3) Friday night at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski senior Bethany Carstens attempts to get a ball by Houston’s Jaydin Winzenburg (3) Friday night at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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