WASILLA — After losing consecutive matches by absolutely the most narrow of margins, the Soldotna Stars finally came away with a win during their three-day tour of the Valley.
Competing in its third five-game match in as many days, Soldotna outlasted Wasilla 3-2 at Wasilla High on Saturday afternoon in Northern Lights Conference play.
“Soldotna is going to be a good team,” Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds said of the Stars, who lost decisive fifth games 16-14 to Palmer on Thursday and 15-13 to Colony on Friday.
Reynolds said he was impressed by Soldotna, the defending Northern Lights Conference champions, a team that graduated five seniors (including 2012 NLC Player of the Year Kaillee Skjold) and lost its longtime head coach, Bruce King. Reynolds said he was particularly impressed with SoHi setter Julie Litchfield and middle hitter Katelynn Kerkvliet.
Reynolds’ Moose stayed undefeated with a 3-0 (25-9, 25-19, 25-20) win over visiting Kenai Central on Saturday.
Brecken Riekena, Mariah McNamara and Elliot Perkins led a balanced Moose attack, with 11, 10 and nine kills respectively. McNamara also collected eight digs and three aces against the Kards.
“She played very well. She had a very nice match,” Reynolds said McNamara.
Macey Buresh added 24 assists and seven kills.
On Friday at Colony High, Ashley Turcotte hammered 14 kills to help Colony edge Soldotna 3-2 (25-27, 25-21, 26-24, 14-25, 15-13). Turcotte also finished with eight digs and three aces in the match.
Chelsea Friesen recorded 25 digs for the Knights. Mackenzie Everett added 37 assists and 13 digs.
Wasilla also scored a 3-0 win over Kenai on Friday.
Kenai held tough against the Warriors on Friday with a straight-set loss, dropping games of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-22. The loss leaves Kenai with an 0-5 Northern Lights Conference record, and 0-6 overall.
Heidi Perkins led the Kards with 20 digs, and teammate Justice English added 14 assists, Kiana Harding knocked down eight kills, and Kyla Whannell had two aces.
Kenai coach Tracie Beck said she’s pleased with the progress that she is seeing in her team, adding that she believes the Kardinals are knocking on the door of a couple wins.
“We switched the lineup around a little bit, some of our setters moved around,” Beck said. “We’re still a rebuilding program, but every game we get better.”
Skyview 3, Seward 0
The visiting Skyview volleyball team swept Seward on Friday in Southcentral Conference play.
The scores were 25-19, 25-14 and 25-16.
Nikiski 3, Homer 1
The Nikiski girls found their first win of the season in a close matchup with the Mariners on Friday in Homer, winning with games of 25-22, 22-25, 25-19 and closing out a strong rally with a 26-24 game.
Rachel Thompson played a big role with 45 assists to go along with five serving aces. Teammate Rebekah Krogseng notched 15 kills, and Jodi Cook had seven kills.
Nikiski is now 1-3 in the Soutcentral Conference, and 1-4 overall.
“It was pretty exciting, to say the least,” Nikiski coach Stacey Segura said.
In the fourth and final set, Homer was leading 24-18 for game point, but Nikiski clawed back to win it with eight straight points.
“I was shocked,” said Segura. “Jodi Cook was serving those last eight points, and she got maybe one or two aces.
“We’ve been working on our confidence, and I don’t think the girls had that, due to the losses we’ve had. I capitalized on that and told them no matter what the score looks like, you need to have confidence.”
Nikiski faces Kenai on Tuesday, and will be traveling to Anchorage for the West Spiketacular next weekend.