SoHi netters get big win over Colony

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna's Drewe Zeek gets a touch on the ball while Ituau Tuisaula backs her up in a match against Colony on Wednesday at Soldotna.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna's Drewe Zeek gets a touch on the ball while Ituau Tuisaula backs her up in a match against Colony on Wednesday at Soldotna.

Losing their star outside hitter was one big test the Soldotna volleyball squad had to deal with this year.

Another big test comes this week, when the high-powered Valley schools come to town.

Wednesday night, the Stars took care of business with a statement sweep over the Colony Knights, winning with scores 25-18, 25-19 and 28-26 over their Northern Lights Conference opponent.

“This is a big win,” said freshman sensation Itua Tuisaula. “We lost to them in the West Spiketacular, so this was big.”

Tuisaula overpowered the Knights for much of the match, knocking down balls with wild abandon to compile 10 kills, three blocks and five tips in for points.

Tuisuala said senior Judah Aley — who saw her season end with a knee injury at the West Spiketacular — talked to the team before the match and had a prewritten letter that helped fire up the Stars.

“She basically said we can’t win for one person, but we can win for the team,” Tuisaula said.

SoHi must have gotten the message. The Stars streaked out to big leads in the first two sets to win easily, and did the same in the third.

However, a rapid comeback by Colony made for intriguing drama in the end. SoHi led 19-9 at one point, forcing Colony to call timeout, and the Knights came out of the break with four straight points, forcing SoHi coach Sheila Kupferschmid to call timeout.

After reaching a 21-13 lead, SoHi then gave up 10 unanswered points to watch Colony storm to a 23-21 lead, powered by middle hitter Eve Stephens.

Finally, a kill point by Drewe Zeek stopped the bleeding for SoHi, but Colony scored again to reach set point at 24-23. A kill by Tuisuala erased it, then a net violation by Colony brought up set point for SoHi at 25-24.

Colony responded with two straight points, including a vicious kill by Mikara Klawitter, to take set point for a second time at 26-25, but the Stars weren’t done yet. A stuff block by Zeek and a point by Tuisaula set up match point for SoHi yet again, and Stars libero Shaylynn Zener ended it with a service point.

“This was the most complete match we have played this year,” Kupferschmid said. “We had a more balanced attack.”

Junior setter Cally Christianson also stepped up with 17 points, while Zener had a remarkable defensive performance to finish with 14 points. Zeek ended with seven points and five kills, and Kodi McGillivary notched seven points and three kills.

Colony was just the first NLC test of three. Today, the Stars will face Wasilla, which is undefeated in conference play this year. SoHi will finish off its three-day stretch of NLC competition with a Friday match against Palmer.

Kupferschmid praised her team’s defense and passing, and called the match Tuisaula’s “coming-out game.”

“I told her what she was capable of, and she performed,” Kupferschmid said. “Cally had a good setting game, she really quarterbacked the team, and the pass really set up what we did swingwise.”

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Ella Stenga attacks against Colony on Wednesday at Soldotna High School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Ella Stenga attacks against Colony on Wednesday at Soldotna High School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna's Drewe Zeek attempts a block while Cally Christianson backs her up against Colony on Wednesday at Soldotna High School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Drewe Zeek attempts a block while Cally Christianson backs her up against Colony on Wednesday at Soldotna High School.

More in Sports

tease
Schedule set for Al Howard Shootout

The schedule for The Revolution Sport and Spine Therapy Al Howard Shootout… Continue reading

Homer's Sydney Shelby fights for a rebound between Nikiski's Shelby Burman and Rylee Ellis on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Homer girls, Nikiski boys notch wins

The Homer girls and Nikiski boys basketball teams picked up victories in… Continue reading

Eventual race winner Morgan Aldridge leads Carly Reimer and Amy Anderson at the Ski for Women on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling’s Aldridge takes 5th in triathlon

Sterling’s Morgan Aldridge finished fifth in the women’s race at the 2022… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Tommy Aitken makes a save against the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears have first winning streak of season

By JEFF HELMINIAK Peninsula Clarion The Kenai River Brown Bears used their… Continue reading

tease
Hoops roundup: Seward girls notch first win of season

The host Seward girls basketball team defeated Unalaska 48-29 on Saturday in… Continue reading

Kenai's Caden Warren, Landon Cialek and Logan Mese celebrate a goal by Mese against Palmer on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Railbelt hockey tightens even more

Kenai gets big weekend sweep

tease
Brown Bears snap 10-game skid

The Kenai River Brown Bears snapped a 10-game losing streak with a… Continue reading

tease
Kenai, Nikiski squads take road losses

The Kenai Central girls and boys basketball teams were swept at Chugiak… Continue reading

Houston’s Daniel Matveev celebrates a goal against Soldotna on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi, Homer hockey take losses

The Houston hockey team notched a 6-1 victory over Soldotna on Thursday… Continue reading

Most Read