SoHi volleyball takes 2 of 3 weekend games

When the Matanuska-Susitna Valley volleyball teams make their rounds of the Kenai Peninsula this time of year, the true depth of the Northern Lights Conference is exposed, and the contenders usually separate themselves from the pretenders.

Soldotna is quickly showing that they are one of the teams to beat, pulling out a gritty 3-1 victory over Palmer — the reigning region champions — Friday at the Soldotna Prep gym, one day after sweeping Colony in three sets.

The Stars beat the Moose with scores of 23-25, 25-11, 27-25 and 25-23.

“It’s nice to get a win on our home floor,” said Soldotna coach Sheila Kupferschmid.

SoHi improved to 2-2 in NLC play and 6-2 overall.

Coming up clutch for a second straight day was SoHi middle Makenna Rosin, who recorded six kills (and 10 additional points), five blocks and three aces.

“It’s like a new high, knowing that our team can beat them,” Rosin said about Palmer. “They went to state last year, so it kind of keeps them as a final goal.”

Also for SoHi, junior outside hitter Judah Aley had 14 kills, senior Lindsey Wong had 18 points and six aces, and Sylvia Tuisaula had seven kills and five aces.

After giving up a late lead in game 1, SoHi was forced to claw back from a deficit. Late in the game, Palmer cut Soldotna’s lead to 22-21 before Kupferschmid called a timeout. Out of the break, Palmer scored another two point to take the lead, then finished off the 25-23 with a service point.

That did not deter Soldotna. The Stars opened up a 7-2 lead in game 2, then saw it fall to 7-6 before pushing it back out to 14-7 with a strong presence by Hallie Allen and Drewe Zeek. SoHi finished off the set on a 9-1 run to win 25-11 and easily tie the match up at one game apiece.

Palmer took advantage of a few SoHi mistakes at the net, including several dropped balls, to grab a 19-11 lead in the third game.

However, the Stars recovered to work their way back into contention. A kill point by Wong and three straight service points by Tuisaula cut the gap to four. A mistake by Palmer’s Sammy Buresh at the net cut Palmer’s lead to 20-19.

SoHi finally tied things up at 23-all on consecutive service points by Rosin. From there, the two sides traded match points three times before SoHi finally won on a serve by Allen that clipped the net just enough to keep Palmer from returning it.

Kupferschmid praised her squad’s serving prowess for the comeback.

“That was a confidence builder,” she said. “Our hitters came through, they swung hard tonight.”

SoHi’s biggest challenge came in containing Palmer senior libero Carly Venzke, who manned the back line for the Moose and kept the visitors in contention on multiple games.

“She’s very good,” Kupferschmid said. “We had to keep track of her.”

In the fourth set, SoHi started fast to open up an 8-1 lead, then extended it to 14-6. From there, the Stars maintained the margin en route to the set and match win.

“Our back row put in a lot of fight, and our front row executed well with making smart plays,” Rosin said. “Having that 2 to 1 lead, it just gave us more confidence going into the fourth game.”

Wasilla 3, Soldotna 1

The Warriors claimed a four-set win over the Stars Saturday moning in Soldotna, winning with scores of 25-18, 21-25, 25-18 and 25-21.

Kupferschmid said she was pleased with the effort of her squad, which played its third match in three days.

“I’m just pleased we’re competing with the Valley teams,” Kupferschmid said.

The Stars will compete next at the West Spiketacular tournament in Anchorage starting Friday.

More in Sports

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

Bears return home for 3-game set

The Christmas break threw the Kenai River Brown Bears out of their… Continue reading

Michael Armstrong, seated, in sled, gives his mother, Sylvia Jander, the unique Alaska experience of driving a sled-dog team in February 1989 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Jenny Stroyeck)
Fill out the squares of the Alaska Adventure Bingo Card

Moose, bears, sled dogs wolves, whales oh my: Alaska offers many adventures to check off.

Dog sick fungus, named for its resemblance to canine vomit, is neither vomit nor a fungus. It is a kind of slime mold common in tundra. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Names of living things have much to say

As we at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge seek to know about… Continue reading

SoHi JV girls topple Ninilchik

The host Soldotna JV girls basketball team notched a 39-27 victory over… Continue reading

SoHi JV cagers sweep CIA

The host Soldotna JV basketball teams scored nonconference wins over Cook Inlet… Continue reading

Karl Danielson, a 2018 graduate of Kenai Central, races to victory in the Under-18 and over men's 10-kilometer interval start classic at Besh Cup 4 on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The Besh Cup races are mostly used to select skiers for Junior Nationals, but also give younger and older skiers a chance for top-notch racing. It took over 50 volunteers to put together the two days of races, which had over 200 skiers each day.
Kenai grad Danielson sweeps Besh Cup weekend at Tsalteshi

Tsalteshi Trails hosted the Besh Cup on Saturday and Sunday.

Ice Dogs sweep Brown Bears

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got off to a solid start under new… Continue reading

Most Read