Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna sophomore Aliann Schmidt (10) and junior Cally Christianson team up to score on Homer sophomore Calla Seay (18) Friday at Soldotna High School.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna sophomore Aliann Schmidt (10) and junior Cally Christianson team up to score on Homer sophomore Calla Seay (18) Friday at Soldotna High School.

Volleyball roundup: SoHi sweeps Homer; Kenai, Nikiski, Seward play at Grizzly Invite

The Soldotna Stars swept a nonconference matchup with the Homer Mariners Friday night at Soldotna High School, but they had to work for it.

SoHi won with scores of 25-21, 25-17 and 25-12, boosting its overall record to 9-1, while Homer dropped to 3-7 overall.

Still experimenting with the lineup after senior outside hitter Judah Aley went down with a season-ending knee injury, Stars coach Sheila Kupferschmid said her squad is using nonconference games to tune up in preparation for next week’s three-day schedule of Northern Lights Conference games against the Valley teams.

“This is midseason ball,” she said. “When key individuals continue to improve, the team improves.”

Leading the way Friday was a strong SoHi service game. Stars freshman Itua Tuisaula rocked Homer with 10 service points, including three aces, and had an additional five kills.

Junior libero Shay Zener and setter Cally Christianson both added nine service points as well, and sophomore Kodi McGillivary recorded five kills.

Kupferschmid praised McGillivary’s effort, and added that senior setter Abi Tuttle had a strong passing game.

However, one night after pulling off a 3-1 victory over Cordova in their home gym, the Mariners came out firing with a 15-8 lead in the first set. Later, a service point by lethal senior hitter Mary Hana Bowe pulled Homer to a 20-16 lead, but SoHi answered with four straight points to tie it up.

After a Homer point put them in the lead once again, the Stars finished in emphatic style, notching five consecutive points to end the game and take a 1-0 match lead. Tuisuala dominated her outside position during the run and Drewe Zeek had a stuff block as well.

“We had a hard time judging the SoHi serve,” said Homer coach Kristie Mastre. “We were only at 64 percent (against Soldotna serving), which isn’t good.”

Tuisaula came alive in the second set. The two teams played very close to a 15-all tie, then SoHi went on a 9-0 tear to reach set point on the strength of eight straight service points by Tuisaula.

“We kept pounding away at Homer, and they finally collapsed,” Kupferschmid said.

Christianson opened the third set with a controlling service game to help SoHi to a 6-1 lead, and the Stars held on from there.

SoHi will host NLC opponents Colony, Wasilla and Palmer next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


Kenai, Seward take 5th at Grizzly Invitational

The Kenai Central and Seward volleyball teams tied for fifth place Friday at Saturday at the Grizzly Invitational in Anchorage, while Nikiski tied for ninth.

The teams were seeded in Saturday’s championship bracket according to their places in Friday’s pool play.

Nikiski finished 3-4 in Pool A, losing to Monroe Catholic 21-18, beating Susitna Valley 21-12, beating Grace Christian 21-18, losing to Mt. Edgecumbe 21-17, losing to Palmer 21-19, losing to Kotzebue 21-19 and defeating Valdez 21-15.

Kenai and Seward both finished 4-3 in Pool B. The Kards lost to Kodiak 23-21, defeated Houston 21-12, defeated Anchorage Christian Schools 21-5, defeated Eielson 21-10, lost to Wasilla 21-13, lost to Sitka 21-19 and defeated Seward 21-18.

The Seahawks defeated Sitka 21-15, lost to Kodiak 21-10, defeated Eielson 21-13, lost to Wasilla 21-19, defeated Houston 21-17, defeated ACS 21-14 and lost to Kenai.

Saturday, Seward and Nikiski clashed in the first round in the championship bracket. The Seahawks won 25-19, 21-23 and 4-2, but then lost 25-11 and 25-13 to Palmer.

Kenai notched a first-round victory over Susitna Valley 25-15, 21-21 and 5-3, but lost to Grace 25-23 and 22-20.


Cordova volleyball sweeps Cook Inlet Academy

The visiting Cordova volleyball team swept Cook Inlet Academy on Saturday by scores of 25-15, 25-7 and 25-14.

More in Sports

Kards win Silver Bracket at Dimond-Service volleyball

Kenai Central won the Silver Bracket on Saturday at the Dimond-Service Volleyball… Continue reading

Soldotna's Hunter Richardson and Homer's Nestor Kalugin tangle at 189A at the Luke Spruill Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. Richardson won the match 11-1 on the way to first place, while Kalugin was third. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai’s Gaethle wins Spruill award

Kenai Central junior Andrew Gaethle won the Luke Spruill Outstanding Wrestler award,… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Caden Triggs (far left) celebrates his first-period goal with Tyler Pfister and Brendan Hill on Friday, Oct. 21, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Bears split Friday, Saturday games with Steel

For the second time all season, the Kenai River Brown Bears scored… Continue reading

Brown Bears forward Cole Dubicki and Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel forward Ethan Benz tangle for the puck Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears drop home opener to Steel

The Kenai River Brown Bears lost their home opener 6-2 to the… Continue reading

Seward volleyball comes back to top Nikiski

The host Seward volleyball team pulled off a big comeback for a… Continue reading

A moose darts into the forest on Beaver Loop Road in Kenai, Alaska, during the Kenai River Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Refuge Notebook: Mating systems of moose and caribou

Driving home the other day, my friend and I came across a… Continue reading

Kenai Lake sparkles under the sun on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: To everything, there is a season

We don’t really have “seasons” where I’m from. It stays an amicable… Continue reading

Costume Caper 5K draws 44 in Nikiski

The Nikiski Community Recreation Center held a 5K Costume Caper on Saturday,… Continue reading

Brown Bears look to home cooking to spark season

The Kenai River Brown Bears will turn to home ice advantage to… Continue reading

Most Read