The host Kenai Central volleyball team was looking to build on a positive weekend at the West Spiketacular, but ran into mostly disappointment Tuesday in nonconference play.
Seward will do that to a team.
The Seahawks and their stingy defense rolled up a 25-12, 25-13 and 25-18 victory to improve to 3-1 overall.
“Seward has aggressive servers, that’s what hurt us tonight,” Kenai co-coach Pako Whannell said after falling to 0-5 overall. “They can hit anything — floaters, top spin, jump serves. They do it all.
“And they’re just scrappy on defense.”
Seward was so good on defense that coach Jodi Kurtz had the luxury of just sitting back and watching.
“The communication was awesome,” Kurtz said. “I didn’t say much, because they were all talking on the court.”
The coach also was excited about the jump serve of Coral Petrosius, who served out four straight points in Games 1 and 3. Petrosius is tall and can jump, so when she hits her serve with the right top spin, it drops off a table when it reaches the other side of the net.
“If you can jump that high, high enough to do that, it’s just awesome,” Kurtz said.
The coach said other highlights for her team were the setting of Maille Moriarity, hitting of Riley Von Borstel and Randi Tolson, defense and setting of Ashley Jackson and hitting and blocking of Maggie Adkins.
In Game 1, Petrosius had a run of four serves to give the Seahawks a 13-5 lead. Then Tolson later ran off three straight for an 18-9 lead.
In Game 2, it was Allie Toloff that served four straight for a 16-6 lead. Whannell called timeout at that point and the Kards were able to keep the score relatively even for the rest of the game.
In Game 3, Sequioa Sieverts served out four early for a 5-1 lead. But Kenai fought back with a run of three by Nikki Prior and a run of four by Denali Lockwood to tie the game at 15. But Petrosius once again stepped to the line with four straight for a 23-17 advantage that Kenai could not overcome.
“The girls are just very young and we’re being patient and optimistic,” Whannell said. “I’ve had this happen before. I’ve had up-and-down, roller-coaster seasons, then had that team do well at regions.”
Despite the disappointment Tuesday, Whannell says the team continues to improve. Setter Maddie Galloway (four kills) and middle hitter Sam Kompkoff (five kills, two block kills) got off several quick spikes Tuesday, while Mayzie Potton (four kills) continues to be consistent, and Alyssa Bucho and Hayley Maw piled up digs in the back row. Whannell also likes the aggressiveness of Lockwood, who had three kills.
“I keep telling the kids, I don’t care about the record, I just want to see improvement and effort,” Whannell said.