In their first official regular season matchup, the Kenai Central volleyball team racked up a sweep over the Homer Mariners.
The Kards beat the Mariners with scores of 25-11, 25-11 and 25-18, just three days after falling to Soldotna in the Shayna Pritchard Memorial Tournament championship in Nikiski.
The tournament MVP over the weekend, Abby Beck, picked up where she left off Tuesday night with a dominating service game that paired nicely with a net presence. Beck hit Homer with 15 kills, eight aces and had eight digs as well.
Caleigh Jensen joined Beck with 11 aces and five kills, while Cierra King had five stuff blocks and four kills, Emily Koziczkowski notched three kills and three aces, and Patricia Catacutan had three kills.
Kenai coach Tracie Beck praised the team’s passing in the early weeks of the season, which played a big role in the Kards’ offensive attack Tuesday.
“We’ve put in a lot of work for our system,” Beck said. “And our serving was very consistent tonight, we were not just putting the ball on their court, we’re hitting it short and deep.”
Homer senior Mary Hana Bowe led the Mariners with nine kills, while junior teammate Raisa Basargin finished with nine serve points.
The home team rolled through the opening two sets. A 5-0 lead in the first transformed into an 18-6 advantage, thanks to three straight serves by Beck that Homer was unable to return. A kill point by Beck finished the set to give Kenai a 1-0 match lead.
In the second game, it was Jensen picking up the service points in a lethal start that resulted in an early 8-1 lead. Kenai stretched its lead to 17-5 before Homer made a brief run of three straight points. However, the game belonged to Jensen, who didn’t waste any set points with a service ace on the final point.
Homer made its strongest bid in the third, getting off to a 6-1 lead capped by a service point by Basargin. Another small run capped by a Calla Seay kill pushed Homer’s lead to 12-9, but that was the closest the Mariners came to forcing a fourth set.
A kill by Jensen sparked a Kenai run of five points, giving the Kards a lead that was only shared once more, when Homer forged a 14-all tie.
“We didn’t want to let (Homer’s) server get a roll on us,” coach Beck said. “We’re gonna have mistakes, but we finished it strong.”
Beck put the exclamation mark on the night with three straight points on serves to end the match.