Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Soldotna's Makenna Rosin tips the ball over the net during a game against Colony on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna's Makenna Rosin tips the ball over the net during a game against Colony on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

SoHi volleyball sweeps Colony

The Soldotna volleyball swept Northern Lights Conference rival Colony in three games Thursday evening at Soldotna High School, with scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-23.

The Stars can thank senior middle hitter Makenna Rosin, whose four straight serve aces late in the third game propelled them to the win.

“We were in the gym a lot during the summer,” Rosin explained. “And I think the seniors on the front line have put in the time.”

Of course, Rosin was only part of the equation Thursday. In addition to her 13 serve aces, Rosin also had seven kills, while sophomore teammate Shaylynn Zener notched 15 digs, junior Judah Aley recorded 11 kills and senior Lindsey Wong provided 56 total assists.

“I think we’re working good together,” Wong said. “Sometimes there’s communication errors, but as the season goes along we’ll jell together better.”

Offseason work, dedication and improved communication all resulted in an easy night against the Knights. With the win, SoHi improved to 1-2 in conference play (5-2 overall), while Colony dropped to 0-5.

Both Wong and Rosin agreed that the Colony defense challenged the Stars by forcing them to get creative.

“Our front line had to be tricky where we placed the ball,” Rosin said. “We had to find new ways where we hit the ball.”

Soldotna coach Sheila Kupferschmid was pleased, adding that SoHi’s rally to overcome Colony in Game 3 served to reinforce the team’s cohesiveness.

“I liked the kids’ fight in the third game,” Kupferschmid said. “Makenna got on a roll and took over that back line, and I’ve been waiting for her to do that.”

After picking up the first set to lead the match 1-0, SoHi came our firing in Game 2 with a 7-2 run that forced Colony coach Amy Carter to call timeout. Out of the break, SoHi continued to pad its lead with deadly serves from Rosin, who helped the Stars to a 13-5 advantage.

Colony’s biggest threat came in outside hitter Mikara Klawitter, who stymied the Stars on several points midway through the game with unpredictable tipped balls that landed in SoHi territory. Colony cut the gap to 13-9, but Klawitter’s net presence was soon picked up by Soldotna, and the Colony junior found the net on two consecutive strikes. The Stars ended the game on a 5-1 run to win it comfortably and take a daunting 2-0 match lead.

Now in desperation mode, the Knights charged out of the gate in Game 3 to take an 8-3 lead. Later, Colony stretched its lead to 16-11.

“We just need work,” Kupferschmid said. “Our blocking needs a lot of work.”

However, that would be as close as the visitors would get to forcing a fourth game. Soldotna quickly ate away the lead with nine straight point — including four serve aces in a row that Colony couldn’t handle — to take a 20-16 lead. The Knights tied the game at 22-all with a hard shot from Kristina Tennesen from the outside spot, but SoHi ultimately claimed the game and match win when Colony sent a pair of shots wide of the mark.

Kupferschmid praised the team’s efforts before adding that she is looking forward to the team’s upcoming tournament play, starting with the annual West Spiketacular next weekend, which should prove valuable.

“We need tournament play,” Kupferschmid said. “We need those game time reps.”

Soldotna and Palmer will meet for a NLC game Friday at 6 p.m.

Palmer 3, Kenai 1

The Kardinals lost a conference match to the Moose on Thursday evening with scores of 21-25, 24-26, 25-18 and 17-25.

Kenai dropped to 1-3 in the NLC and 2-3 overall.

Abby Beck recorded 12 kills and 24 digs to lead Kenai, while teammate Alli Steinbeck provided 18 assists and Alexis Baker had 23 digs and four kills. Also, Cori Holmes had 22 digs, Cierra King had five blocks, Emily Koziczkowski had six kills and Jacey Ross had three aces.

“Palmer’s always a tough team, we know that,” said Kenai coach Tracie Beck. “The girls played well, there were just some things we’re still working on.”

Kenai faces Wasilla in their third conference match in three days Friday at 6 p.m.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Soldotna's Makenna Rosin and Lindsey Wong block a spike during their game against Colony High School on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Makenna Rosin and Lindsey Wong block a spike during their game against Colony High School on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Soldotna's Judah Aley serves the ball during a game against Colony on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Judah Aley serves the ball during a game against Colony on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Soldotna's Sylvia Tuisaula blocks a shot during a game against Colony on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Sylvia Tuisaula blocks a shot during a game against Colony on Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

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