The host Soldotna volleyball team defeated Nikiski 25-20, 25-18 and 25-19 on Thursday in nonconference play.
The Stars, now 6-5 in nontournament play, avenged a five-set loss to the Bulldogs (8-5) on Aug. 31.
One big difference in the matches was at the setter position.
Stars senior setter Nicole Dickinson was warming up for her team’s first match of the season on Aug. 25 when she sprained an ankle.
Dickinson returned from the injury Thursday. Sophomore Sarah Brown had been filling in.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Sarah,” Baumer said. “She did a great job coming in.
“Nicole has the seniority and the experience and that vision of the floor. With her timing, it was like they just picked up where they left off.”
Meanwhile, Nikiski coach Stacey Segura said her squad was missing senior setter Maggie Grenier due to a death in the family.
Grenier and Avery Ellis normally split the setting duties. Segura said Ellis did a great job taking over most of the setting and freshman Milly Hornung went into Grenier’s spot, giving Nikiski three freshmen on the floor at times.
Segura also said Milly Hornung played well and showed she has a great future in the program.
“One person gone isn’t an excuse, but Maggie has a huge presence on the court,” Segura said.
Baumer said a key stat for his team is that no player had more hitting errors than kills.
Sadie Lane had 10 kills with just one error, and also added 12 digs. Athena Rossiter had six kills and an error, while Abygale Shaeffer had six kills and four errors.
Baumer said Dickinson spread the ball around and was both quick and accurate to make things easier on the hitters.
Kiara Forkner had 15 digs for the Stars, while Dickinson had four aces. In all, the Stars had 11 aces and eight service errors, a ratio with which Baumer is happy.
“We were just firing on all cylinders,” Baumer said.
Segura said her squad had more problems than Grenier being gone.
“We made a lot of errors that we made at the beginning of the season that we kind of had trained out of them,” Segura said. “So I’m a little nervous as to why they’re back.”
Segura said the errors came in all areas — serve-receive errors, blocking errors, setting errors and hitting errors.
“With the mistakes and the errors that we made, I feel like we lost to ourselves,” she said.
Ashlynne Playle had five kills, four aces and three blocks for the Bulldogs, while Kailey Stynsberg had 16 digs, Avery Ellis had 15 digs, Zoey Ellis had eight kills and Mandee Roofe had five blocks.
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