The Seward volleyball team somehow managed to find a way to fight back against the Kenai Kardinals Tuesday evening in Kenai, winning three consecutive games to beat the Kards 3-2 after being on the verge of elimination.
Kenai soundly won the first two games 25-22 and 25-11, but Seward came back with wins of 25-19, 25-19 and 15-10.
The Seahawks made it a habit of starting slow, as they were trailing 16-3 at one point in the first game. After a timeout, Seward head coach Carri Fisher had the girls working together, and the Hawks were able to outscore Kenai 16-7 before the next timeout, including nine points in a row, but it wasn’t enough to win the game.
“They were being more aggressive, talking to each other, and the seniors stepped up,” Fisher said.
Seward senior Brianna Honebein had 11 kills on the night, and teammate Gretchen Lindquist had 10. Together, they produced a combo that had the Kards on their toes late in the match.
“They’re amazing. They know what they have to do on court, and they did it tonight,” Fisher said. “They got down a few games but were mentally prepared to come back and win it.”
Junior Cambria Robinson of Seward also proved effective, getting four kills and three blocks officially.
Kenai junior Justice English led the Kards with 26 assists and six kills. Junior teammate Erica Tofte had six kills and five aces, junior Dacia Shier recorded six kills and three aces, and sophomore Kiana Harding had eight stuff blocks.
In the third round, Seward jumped out to an early lead, something they had not done in the previous two games, and put together 10 straight points midway through to bolster them to a game victory.
Both teams swapped the lead back and forth in the fourth game, neither leading by more than three at any given time, but it was Seward that was able to stave off elimination once again to take the 25-19 win.
In the final round, the Hawks found a scoring run of 6-1 that held up against the Kards in the 15-10 win.
“The season started out really good, it was sketchy in the middle, and they started to play together,” Fisher said. “It’s a long season so I think they’re starting to come together at the end. They’re ready for regions.”
In what has been a long season for the Kards, one that has not produced favorable results, an emotional Kenai head coach Tracie Beck said it is difficult to see a two-game lead slip away.
“Sometimes we just resort back to what they know, which is to just play it safe, and be content,” Beck said. “I think that’s what we saw tonight, in the last three games.”
Kenai continues its season Saturday at home against Soldotna in a 2:30 p.m. matchup, while Seward will travel to Nikiski on Friday to play the Bulldogs at 5:30 p.m.