PALMER — Just as it seemed like everything had fallen apart for the Palmer Moose, a sudden shift in momentum pushed Palmer to victory.
Palmer rallied from a five-point deficit midway through the decisive fifth game to secure a 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-13) win over the Soldotna Stars on Saturday afternoon at Palmer High School.
“To mentally stick with it, and come out on the other end, it’s a good win,” Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds said.
Soldotna, which came from behind in the fourth set to force a Game 5, jumped to a quick lead in the fifth set. The Stars extended that lead to 7-2. But before Soldotna could completely clamp down on the victory, Palmer started to steadily creep back.
Senior Leiah Reichel knocked down a kill to start a streak of three straight points for the Moose. She used her second kill of the set to cut Palmer’s deficit to three points.
Later in Game 5, senior Mariah McNamara registered consecutive kills to cut Soldotna’s lead to 10-9. A SoHi net violation tied the game at 10.
“We had the same problems in the second game, tons of unforced errors,” Reynolds said of falling behind early in Game 5. “We’ve had bouts of that. (I give them) good credit for being persistent, persevering through the ups and downs, because we certainly had our bad spells.”
McNamara led the Moose with 19 kills. Reichel added 12 kills and five blocks. Carly Venzke chipped in 13 digs and four aces.
Palmer improved to 5-1 in NLC play with the victory. Its only loss came against Soldotna, a 3-1 defeat at Soldotna earlier this year.
Bailey Rosin finished with a match-high 23 digs. Rosin also collected five kills in the loss. Skylar Shaw added 20 digs and eight kills. Hayley Ramsell recorded 10 kills and five blocks. Haley Miller finished with five kills and four blocks. Makenna Rosin added eight kills and two blocks. Alex Ashe recorded a match-high 28 assists.
Colony 3, Soldotna 0
PALMER — The Colony Knights swept Soldotna 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-23) Friday at Colony High School.
Whitley Mattern led the Knights with 17 kills. Ashley Turcotte had seven kills and 11 digs. Mackenzie Everett collected 16 assists, six digs and two aces. Sophomore Hall finished with nine kills, three digs and three blocks.
Colony 3, Kenai 0
PALMER — Colony scored an NLC sweep for the second straight day Saturday, beating Kenai 3-0 (25-21, 25-7, 25-21).
Mackenzie Everett furnished 22 assists and six digs. Ashley Turcotte led the Knights with 13 digs, and added four kills, three blocks and three aces. Whitley Mattern added 11 digs. Sophie Hall chipped in seven kills and four blocks.
Wasilla 3, Kenai 1
WASILLA — The Wasilla Warriors earned a 3-1 (25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 25-17) win over Kenai Friday at Wasilla High.
Amber Sizemore led the Warriors with 12 kills and two aces. Ashlyn Dorn added eight kills, while Sylvia Tuisaula chipped in six kills.
Courtney Anthony finished with 25 digs. Peyton Mobley had 37 assists and 14 digs.
Homer, Seward play at 2014 Lady Grizzly Invitational
In Friday pool play, Seward was 3-7 in pool A, while Homer was 5-5 in pool B.
The Seahawks beat Lathrop 20-10 and 20-15, lost to Valdez 21-19 and 20-4, split with Eielson 20-13 and 10-20, lost to Grace Christian 20-18 and 20-8, and lost to Hutchison 21-19 and 20-3.
Homer lost to Monroe Catholic 20-15 and 20-16, beat Houston 20-10 and 20-18, split with ACS 20-9 and 19-21, beat Kotzebue 20-13 and 19-15, and lost to Kodiak 21-19 and 20-13.
In the Saturday tournament, Homer finished tied for fifth, while Seward was tied for seventh.
Homer started the day by losing to Lathrop, then defeated Anchorage Christian and Grace Christian before falling to Kodiak.
Seward lost to Anchorage Christian before beating Lathrop and losing to Eielson.
Clarion staff contributed to this report.