The Soldotna volleyball team defeated Seward 23-25, 25-20, 25-15 and 25-17 on Tuesday in nonconference action at Soldotna High School.
The Stars are now 7-6 in nontournament play, while the Seahawks are 5-5.
Soldotna head coach Luke Baumer said the Seahawks definitely made his squad earn the victory.
“We were talking in the huddle, and that’s what they said, ‘These rallies are so long, and you’re not really getting a lot of opportunities to put the ball away,’” Baumer said.
“You’re just getting balls coming back every single time in like the craziest of ways. You just sit there and think, ‘How in the world did that come back?’”
Seward coach Jodi Kurtz said her squad had good games against Seward this past weekend in Anchorage at the Lady Grizzly Invitational and that continued Tuesday.
“Between us and Luke, we’ve been doing this the last couple of games,” Kurtz said. “I like when we play him because it makes my kids play better because they’re playing a competitive team. So it’s good for them.”
In the first game, Seward fell behind 11-5 but came back to claim the 25-23 win.
Jordan Hartman served out the final five points of the game for the Seahawks, with Robin Cronin ending it on a kill.
“They did a good job,” Kurtz said. “Lately, they’ve been working at coming back from behind.”
With Seward continually putting pressure on Soldotna with defense and serving, Baumer said his squad did a good job keeping the defense constant, serving aggressively and ramping up the attack.
On defense, Baumer said Seward hits to a lot of awkward spots, and also hits short often, so his team was constantly hitting the floor for digs.
Kiara Forker led with a personal-best 38 digs, while Sadie Lane had 21 digs and Kiona Dexter had 15 digs. Hallie Fischer had four blocks.
Baumer said he has a lot of respect for Seward’s serve-receive, so he said for his squad to get 19 aces with only 11 missed serves meant the Stars served well. Lane led that effort with six aces.
On offense, Baumer said Seward’s defense was so good that Soldotna was forced to move the ball around. Setter Nicole Dickinson did just that in rolling up a personal-best 41 assists.
Lane had 13 kills while Morgan Simac had 11 kills, Athena Rossiter had nine kills and Abygale Shaffer had eight kills. Baumer said Simac returned from a knee injury in late September against Nikiski and got back into a groove quickly.
The Stars had a 22-16 lead in Game 2 and a 20-11 lead in Game 3 and did not let Seward come back.
In Game 4, Rossiter served out five straight points, capped by a pair of aces, for a 13-7 lead.
Seward cut it to 19-16 on an ace by Mckinley Williams, but Rossiter closed it out with three aces for the 25-17 victory.
Kurtz said Cronin has been working on her hitting and keeping the team up. The coach said Cronin did a good job of both of those things Tuesday.
Kurtz also gave credit to Kyana Hutchinson and Williams for their all-around play and effort on the court.