Skyview held off a late rally from the Kardinals to sweep a non-conference match three games to none on Thursday night at Skyview.
The Panthers (4-1 conference record, 4-2 overall) won each game with scores of 25-14, 25-12 and 25-23.
“Our serve-receive contained, and Hayley Ramsell continues to get better,” Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid said. “We pulled it together tonight, and it’s a nice home win for us.”
Ramsell, a sophomore setter, racked up 11 serving points and one ace. Her sister, Holly, had 15 digs, Marlee Cunningham recorded nine kills and two blocks, and Casey Niell had ten serving points and 11 digs.
Kenai (0-6, 0-8) was led by Kiana Harding with 15 attack points and three blocks, Heidi Perkins with 16 attack points, Cassie Ross with 15 digs, and Erica Tofte with 12 attack points.
“I felt that we were still in every game, nothing was unreachable,” Kenai coach Tracie Beck. “The beautiful thing is you can see the hard work displayed out there, and so we’re meeting our goals and doing what we need to do, and learning a ton. Tonight you could see it paying off, and these girls are dedicated to being here.”
After leaving Kenai in the dust in the first two games, Skyview did have their work cut out for them in the third and final game.
Kenai hit a 7-2 point streak to lead Skyview 9-7, and only lost two points during that run because of serving errors. However, it was Kenai’s errors that led to Skyview gaining the lead for the final time, going up 20-19 on a failed Erica Tofte dig, and holding the point from there.
The biggest advantage Skyview gained from the victory was the fact that Kenai is a 4A school, and should Skyview, a 3A school, find itself in a tie in the Southcentral conference at the end of the season, a victory over a bigger school will go a long way in determining a tie-break.
“4A opponents are very helpful, especially with a win,” Kupferschmid said. “I told my kids that, and told them to play aggressive. Some of them had great matches tonight, Cheyanne Laber and Marlee Cunningham are swinging very well. They’re swinging as good as hitters I’ve seen this year.”
Skyview will be busy this weekend, travelling up to Anchorage to play in West’s Spiketacular tournament on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s almost towards mid-season now, and a lot of times these matches can snowball on you, and it’s a confidence gain, so wins are always helpful,” Kupferschmid said. “Hopefully it’ll snowball in a positive direction. With this group of girls, I think we can be pretty competitive.”
Kenai will forgo the Anchorage trip and play Soldotna on Tuesday, in order to use more practice time.
“We’re utilizing our practices, and making sure we get them in because it’s so important,” Coach Beck said.