West Spiketacular draws Peninsula teams

  • By Staff Report
  • Sunday, September 21, 2014 12:04am
  • Sports

With three separate brackets dividing 21 teams at Saturday’s West Spiketacular volleyball tournament in Anchorage, the Soldotna, Kenai Central and Nikiski teams had different agendas.

In the end, Soldotna competed strong enough to earn a spot in the Gold bracket, which features the top eight seeded teams, while Kenai and Nikiski were sorted into the Bronze bracket, with the Kards emerging as winners.

The Stars finished the tournament 28-8-6 in sets and 8-4 in pool play, and after a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning performance that was good enough to get them into the Gold bracket as the No. 8 seed, ended up losing to Dimond with game scores of 25-18 and 25-23.

Nevertheless, SoHi coach Sheila Kupferschmid was pleased with her team.

“Our kids competed with them, and I was pleased with our competitiveness and the ability to stay with them,” Kupferschmid said. “Our defense and serving was tough, and I’m just pleased overall with the kids’ attitudes.”

Lindsey Wong was named to the All-Tournament team as a setter.

Soldotna split two Saturday morning games with Wasilla and West Anchorage, going 1-1 with both teams.

Kenai claimed the Bronze championship with a 2-1 win over Bartlett, dropping the first set 19-25 but coming back to win the final two sets 25-20 and 15-6.

“We’ve been in championship games in Homer (Jamboree) and Nikiski, and now I feel like they finally took care of business,” said Kenai coach Tracie Beck. “After we lost the first game, they didn’t get rattled. They took it one play at a time and I was excited to see that.”

Senior Kiana Harding was named to the All-Tournament team. Harding had three aces and three kills in the championship bout.

Harding’s teammates Abby Beck had 11 digs and 10 assists, Kyla Whannell notched 10 digs, Jamie Bagley had nine digs, Sierra Hall and Alexis Baker recorded three kills apiece, and Alli Steinbeck had two aces.

Coach Beck said after losing to South and splitting with Kodiak and Barrow on Friday, the Kardinals were right on the cusp of entry into either the Bronze or Silver brackets.

“I expected them to realistically expect to be in the championship game,” Beck said. “We haven’t been to this tourney in a while, so it was exciting to see that.”

Kenai earned a spot in Saturday’s title match by beating Ketchikan 20-3 and 20-16, beating Barrow 25-20 and 25-9, 

Saturday morning, Kenai lost to Palmer 20-11 and 20-17, and Chugiak 20-15 and 20-14. 

Friday, the Kards lost to South 20-13 and 20-12, and Kodiak 20-8 and 20-16.

On Friday, Soldotna went 6-2 on the opening day of the West Spiketacular volleyball tournament, which hosts many of the state’s top teams. 21 complete teams showed up for action Friday at West High and Romig Middle Schools.

On-court play varied from the usual format, as team played to 20 points in each set and matches consisted of two sets.

SoHi won games against Nome, Lathrop and Eagle River with scores of 2-0 each, but ended Friday with an 0-2 loss to East Anchorage.

From there, teams were sorted into one of three brackets — Gold, Silver or Bronze — based on opening day records.

South and West finished the day with perfect records, and will start Saturday in the Gold bracket.

Kenai ended Friday with a 2-4 record, while Nikiski ended 3-5.

The Nikiski Bulldogs started their tournament going 3-5, which sorted them into the Bronze bracket. Ultimately, Nikiski fell out in the first round with a loss to Bartlett with game scores of 18-25 and 16-25.

Earlier in the day, Nikiski lost to Colony with scores of 21-23 and 16-20, and Dimond with scores of 14-20 and 4-20. 

Nikiski started its weekend Friday with a win, a split and a pair of losses. The Bulldogs beat Bartlett 20-17 and 20-16, split with Juneau 18-21 and 21-16, lost to Service 8-20 and 10-20, and lost to West Valley 11-20 and 12-20.

Senior setter Rachel Thompson was named to the Bronze All-Tournament team.

Homer compete strong in Valdez

The Mariners volleyball team finished third Saturday at the Valdez Volleyball Invitational.

Homer claimed wins against Cordova and North Pole, with scores of 25-18 and 25-21, respectively, and lost to Valdez and Grace Christian with scores of 21-25 and 17-25, respectively.

Valdez and Grace ultimately faced each other in the championship, with Valdez coming away with the victory.

Throughout Saturday, Larsen Fellows led the Mariners with 13 kills, seven digs and one ace, while teammates Jane Rohr racked up six kills and five aces, McKi Needham provided 19 assists, five digs and four kills, Maggie LaRue contributed 15 digs, and Maryhanna Bowe notched four kills, three aces and two solo blocks.

On Friday, the Mariners got going on day 1 of the tournament by going 6-2 in round robin format to start Saturday seeded third in the Gold Bracket.

Homer won with game scores of 25-20 over Delta, 25-15 over Galena, 25-10 over Cordova, 25-17 over Bethel, 25-12 over the Valdez JV, and 25-17 over North Pole. The Mariners lost to Valdez (varsity) 21-25 and Grace Christian 23-25.

The top five teams advanced into the gold bracket, and Homer moved on with a third-place result. Valdez led the bracket and Grace Christian was second. North Pole and Cordova rounded out the top five.

Fellows ended the day with 23 kills, six aces and nine digs to lead the Mariners. LaRue provided 14 digs and seven aces, Rohr racked up 22 kills, four digs and three aces, Needham had 10 kills and nine digs, and Bowe finished with 10 kills, eight aces and six digs.

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