Soldotna’s Kate Curtis attacks against Kenai Central’s Sophie Tapley on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Kate Curtis attacks against Kenai Central’s Sophie Tapley on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tuesday volleyball: Kenai tops Soldotna; Nikiski defeats Homer

The visiting Kenai Central volleyball team defeated Soldotna 25-15, 25-19, 19-25 and 25-17 on Tuesday night in nonconference play.

The Kardinals are now 8-1 in nontournament play, while the Stars are 6-6.

The match was for breast cancer awareness. Soldotna head coach Luke Baumer said all of the proceeds raised from the match, including concessions, went to the Central Peninsula Health Foundation. Baumer added that Capstone Clinic in Kenai matched that amount.

In the last two weekends, the Kardinals won the Southeast Slamma Jamma in Sitka, then finished second against the state’s toughest competition at the West Spiketacular in Anchorage.

Kenai Central head coach Tracie Beck said she wasn’t sure how much volleyball her squad would be playing it Sitka, but that in the end about 40 sets of volleyball in two weeks was too much.

Beck said Kenai didn’t play its best against Soldotna, but that’s understandable.

“I think we have some pretty tough kids who push through when they’re not feeling 100 percent,” Beck said. “I really should not have anything to complain about.”

The Kards immediately gave themselves some breathing room with comfortable victories in the first two games.

Soldotna coach Luke Baumer said his squad was looking forward to playing Kenai and came out with great energy.

He said the energy was beneficial on defense, but in other areas of the game SoHi may have tried to do too much.

The coach also gave credit to how Kenai has evolved as a team.

It’s no secret Emma Beck is a big part of Kenai’s success. She had 20 kills, 19 digs and three blocks.

In those first two games, Baumer said Kenai did a good job spreading the ball around.

“In those first two sets, it was a team we hadn’t really been prepared for,” Baumer said. “In the game film we’d been watching, it was very much get the ball to Emma.

“Other people will get the ball, but the idea was that we need to outscore Emma Beck.”

Sophia Tapley had six kills for Kenai, while Grace Beiser had four kills and three aces, and Stella Selanoff had four kills and two aces.

In particular, coach Beck was happy with Selanoff’s performance.

“Spreading out those attacks is really important because we’re getting down to the wire here,” coach Beck said. “Just to have other weapons, and I felt like Stella was a weapon tonight.”

Baumer said Kenai is tough to beat because the Kardinals never waver from a high level of play. The coach said the opposition has to match that, and he said the Stars did that in Game 3.

Abygale Shaeffer served out the final five points of the game.

“It took our offense awhile to get clicking, but once it started clicking we started getting some speed,” Baumer said.

Even while losing the game, coach Beck remained proud of the effort her team was putting forth on the floor.

In particular, Beck gave credit to setter Kate Wisnewski, who had 34 assists and 14 digs, for pushing through when the passing was not as sharp.

“She was just kind of dragging, and it’s a lot,” Beck said. “She’s younger and this is her first year running our offense.

“She’s doing an amazing job, but we are pushing her to her brink when we’re not passing well.”

In the fourth game, Baumer said Kenai did start getting the ball more to Emma Beck, but she responded with 10 kills.

“It’s tough to try and slow her down,” Baumer said. “Even when we have a game plan in place to try and slow her down, we try and she finds a way around it.

“She’s a very smart player.”

Jaycie Castillo had 32 digs for the Kards.

For Soldotna, Sadie Lane had 13 digs, 10 kills and four aces, Kate Curtis had five kills, Nicole Dickinson had 15 digs, Kiara Forkner had 11 digs and three aces, and Hallie Fischer had five kills and three aces.

Baumer also said Athena Rossiter did a good job of providing a threat on the outside.

Nikiski 3, Homer 1

The visiting Bulldogs notched a Southcentral Conference victory over the Mariners on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs are now 9-5 in nontournament play and 3-1 in the league, while Homer falls to 0-8 in nontournament play and 0-5 in the league.

Nikiski coach Stacey Segura said her squad was missing Ashlynne Playle due to an ankle injury that should only keep her out for a short time.

The coach said Alexa Iyatunguk moved to the middle and played well with 14 kills, four aces and seven blocks.

Maggie Grenier returned to the team and had 18 assists, as well as playing well on defense, according to Segura.

Mandee Roofe added seven kills and seven blocks for Nikiski, while Zoey Ellis had seven kills and Avery Ellis had 14 assists.

For Homer, Rebecca Trowbridge had 32 assists, Channing Lowney had 11 kills, Alexandra Casey had seven kills and Regan Baker had 28 digs.

Soldotna’s Kiona Dexter digs up a ball against Kenai Central on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Kiona Dexter digs up a ball against Kenai Central on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Camilla Gonzalez digs up a ball against Soldotna on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Camilla Gonzalez digs up a ball against Soldotna on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Kate Wisnewski and Ellsi Miller put up a block against Soldotna on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Kate Wisnewski and Ellsi Miller put up a block against Soldotna on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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