The Colony volleyball team notched a 25-12, 25-23 and 25-13 victory over host Kenai Central on Friday in Northern Lights Conference play.
The Knights, who improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the league, controlled the first and third games, but had to dig deep to win the second game against Kenai (0-5, 0-7).
In the first game, Mariah Weydahl, who paced Colony with five digs, served out five points as the Knights jumped to a 12-4 lead.
“She did a good job with consistent serving,” Colony coach Amy Carter said of Weydahl. “She wasn’t serving aces, but she was serving tough.”
In the second game, the Kards jumped out to a 7-1 lead. Erica Tofte served out the first three points of the game, then Justice English served out three more for a 7-1 lead.
“She just came back after being out for two weeks,” Kenai coach Tracie Beck said of English. “It’s nice getting our setter back. She’s like the quarterback for the team.”
The Knights started the second game sluggishly. Kenai’s 7-1 lead was built on failing to return serve three times, plus two hitting errors and a net violation.
Colony was able to climb back into the game when Weydahl served out six straight points for a 10-9 lead, but Heidi Perkins served four points for Kenai for a 17-11 advantage.
Beck said Perkins and Sierra Hall have done a good job stepping up on the varsity after two varsity starters were lost for the season due to violations.
The Kards would hold a 22-16 lead in the second game before Colony came alive.
“Kenai was playing really well,” said Carter, who got 18 assists from Maryann Zmuda. “There was just some determination from a few of the girls that we wouldn’t lose the game.”
Allison Leigh, who led the Knights with 12 kills and three aces, got the serve back with a kill, then served three straight points for a 22-20 game. Brooke Nezaticky, who had six kills, had kills on two of Leigh’s service points, then got the serve back for the Knights with another kill for a 23-21 game.
Weydahl served out the final four points of the game, with Brooke Deans, who had five kills, notching kills on two of those four points.
Carter said Deans did a good job of filling an attacking void left due to the absence of Mary Klapperich, who was unable to make the trip.
The third game was close until Colony’s Mackenzie Everett served six points for a 16-7 lead.
Beck said her team continues to get fundamentally stronger. She said the Kards are now reading the offense that is coming at them.
But the coach said the Kards, as evidenced in the second game, must still learn how to win.
“That was the inexperience at winning,” she said. “It’s hard for them because they’ve been beaten down for a few years.
“They have to learn what it takes to step up and win a game.”
English had four aces for Kenai, while Kiana Harding had a pair of stuff blocks.
Thursday, the Kards were swept by Palmer, 25-9, 25-5, 25-11.