Weekend volleyball roundup

  • By Staff Report
  • Sunday, September 18, 2016 12:08am
  • Sports

A desperate comeback fueled the Soldotna volleyball crew to a 3-2 Northern Lights Conference victory over the Colony Knights Saturday afternoon in Palmer.

Colony won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-23, but the Stars rallied back to win with scores of 25-23, 25-18 and 15-11.

“It was very sweet,” said SoHi coach Sheila Kupferschmid. “It was a very hard-fought match on both sides, and we happened to come out on top.

“That’ll go a long ways for us.”

The win moved SoHi to 4-1 in conference play and 5-1 overall. Colony dropped to 3-2.

Senior outside hitter Judah Aley led the attack with 22 kills and four blocks, while freshman Itua Tuisaula added 16 kills and five blocks. Drewe Zeek also had 14 kills, four blocks and four assists, Aliann Schmidt had six kills and three blocks, Kody McGillivray recorded two aces, and SoHi junior libero haylyn Zener finished with 27 digs.

Eve Stephens led the Knights with 16 kills and four blocks in the loss. Lily Birch finished with 14 kills, 13 digs and two blocks. Shiann Bontrager collected 34 assists a dozen digs.

After going down two sets due to a big blocking defense from Colony that kept SoHi at bay, Kupferschmid said the Stars managed to work out of the jam with an increasing net presence.

“I think it was my brilliant athletes that just keep fighting,” praised Kupferschmid.

The Stars will travel Tuesday for a nonconference match with Nikiski at 5:30 p.m.

Kenai 3, Palmer 0

Kenai capped its three-day tour of the Valley with a sweep over Palmer on Saturday afternoon at Palmer High School. The Kards won with scores of 25-22, 25-15 and 25-20.

Kenai is now 1-2 in NLC play and 2-2 overall.

Abby Beck led the Kenai attack with 16 kills, 14 digs and three aces, while Bethany Coghill provided 23 assists and nine digs. Cierra King had six kills and three stuff blocks and Caleigh Jensen chipped in five aces and five kills.

Kennedy Bryan led the Moose with 11 kills. Mallory Bradford added nine kills. Tiana Lee chipped in 16 assists.

Grace Christian 3, Seward 0

The Grizzlies completed a Southcentral Conference sweep over the Seahawks Saturday with scores of 25-15, 25-17 and 25-18. Seward opened up strong with a 5-0 lead in the first game, but Seahawks coach Jamie Frederickson said Grace responded with 14 straight points on a service streak.

“That was a really strong rotation for them,” Frederickson said. “But our goal was to stay positive and continue to play hard, no matter what, and we achieved that.”

The loss was Seward’s first conference loss this year, dropping the Seahawks to 4-1.

Riley VonBorstel and Tia Miranda led Seward with three kills each, while middle hitter Jessi Hood notched five blocks, and Fredrickson said outside hitter Randi Tolston played well.

Nikiski 3, Redington 0

The Bulldogs finished their weekend with a conference sweep over Joe Redington Jr/Sr High on Saturday.

Homer 3, ACS 0

The Mariners snapped their winless skid with a sweep over the Lions on Saturday afternoon in Southcentral Conference play. Homer won with game scores of 25-19, 25-20 and 25-22, which bumped its season record to 1-4.

FRIDAY

Soldotna 3, Palmer 0

The Soldotna Stars came out firing in a three-set sweep Friday over the Palmer Moose with scores of 25-22, 25-19 and 25-22.

The win moved SoHi to 3-1 in conference play and 4-1 overall.

One night after being swept by Wasilla, another Northern Lights Conference team, SoHi coach Sheila Kupferschmid said the rust had to be shaken off after more than a week of no games.

“To come out to the Valley and sweep a team, it means we’re coming with some punch,” Kupferschmid said. “We had a lot better ball control, lot better serving. That was the difference maker for us.”

Kupferschmid credited Wasilla’s stingy blocking Thursday, something that Palmer was not able to do against SoHi on Friday.

Leading the Stars was senior Judah Aley with 13 kills, 14 service points and three aces, while Shaylynn Zener provided support with 30 assists, six service points and two kills.

Ella Stenga had the “best match of her year,” according to Kupferschmid, with 13 kills and 18 assists, while Itua Tuisaula notched seven kills, six service points and 19 assists, Drewe Zeek had nine kills, six service points and three blocks and Aliann Schmidt finished with five kills and four blocks.

Also, Abi Tuttle had 22 digs and Kodi McGillivray had seven service points and three aces.

The Stars will travel Tuesday for a nonconference match with Nikiski at 5:30 p.m.

Grace 3, Homer 1

A fast start went by the wayside Friday night for the Mariners, who lost with scores of 19-25, 25-10, 25-12 and 25-10.

Still, first-year Homer coach Kristie Mastre called it the best game she has seen her team play.

“They were doing incredible things,” Mastre said. “I’m so proud of this team.”

Nikiski 3, ACS 0

The Bulldogs swept the Lions with scores of 25-17, 25-12 and won a thrilling final set of 27-25.

Once again, Nikiski’s defense came through with 26 digs by Melanie Sexton and 22 from Kelsey Clark.

“It was pretty awesome, we have a really solid defense this year,” said Nikiski coach Stacey Segura. “We’re pretty solid all the way around, but our biggest strength is defense.”

Sexton also had four kills, while Jamie Yerkes added eight aces, four kills and 14 digs. Kaitlyn Johnson finished with five aces and 12 assists, and Bethany Carstens notched five kills.

A week after suffering a close, thrilling 3-2 loss to Grace Christian, Nikiski is proving it can hang with the perennial state contenders.

“That was kind of a good loss for us (against Grace),” Segura said. “It wasn’t like we played miserable, we didn’t go home and dwell on it.

“I’m really excited to see where this team goes.”

Seward 3, Redington 0

The Seahawks followed up a Thursday win over Homer with a Friday sweep over up-and-coming Joe Redington Jr/Sr High School. Seward won with scores of 25-13, 25-21 and 25-11.

Seward coach Jamie Frederickson credited junior outside hitter Randy Tolson for taking charge and leading the team in the victory.

Wasilla 3, Kenai 0

Wasilla scored an NLC win over Kenai on Friday at Wasilla High School, winning with scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-20.

Andraia Bella finished with nine kills and 10 digs for the Warriors, who improved to 2-0 in NLC play. Denisha Christiansen led Wasilla with 16 digs. Federica Freschi collected five aces.

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