Skyview started its volleyball match against Kodiak on Friday night showing that it is just like any other team. The host Panthers finished the Northern Lights Conference affair showing that they can be a pretty good team.
In the first game, Skyview struggled with its defense and passing and, like any volleyball team hurting in those areas, the Panthers lost 25-20. In the next three games, Skyview improved its passing, showed its reservoir of height and power on the front line, and beat Kodiak 25-13, 25-17 and 25-22.
"We've got to learn to control the ball," Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid said. "If we can control the ball this season, we're going to be tough. That's the big task ahead of them."
In the first game, Skyview jumped to a 7-1 lead when Rebecca Egan served out the first five points of the match. The Panthers then struggled to pass as the Bears stormed back to win the game.
"It always starts with a pass," Skyview senior Elisha Hollers said. "Once we get our passing down, our front line is going to be putting balls away."
In the second game, the Bears started slow again and this time there was no coming back. Mary Hauptman served out eight points to give Skyview an early 13-4 lead.
Kodiak coach Rick Carmen, whose squad fell to 1-3 in the league and 1-4 overall, was very impressed with Skyview. He said the Panthers are the toughest team the Bears have seen thus far, with the possible exception of Palmer.
"I think they found their tempo," Carmen said of Skyview in the second game. "They got going with some of their quick stuff. They made a lot of errors in the first game."
Kupferschmid said the second game was the turning point in the match. The coach also was pleased with the way her team ramped up the defense in the third game. Kodiak had just two clean kills in the game.
The improved passing and defense led to 11 kills in the third game for Skyview. Egan was just in her second game as setter, and said she is growing more comfortable with all of the options around her. Alicia West finished off the game with six service points.
"I think my defense did well passing," Egan said. "Once that happens, I have a lot of really good hitters to pass to."
Neither team put on a passing exhibition in the fourth game. Both teams struggled with serve-receive, but Kodiak struggled more. That led to strings of six service points by West and five service points by Egan.
Carmen said his team is still young and returns only one player with varsity experience.
"We've got the passers," he said. "We're just a young team and we're building confidence. We can make the passes, we just have to do it in game conditions."
Down 20-11, Kodiak did mount a comeback, pushing the score to 22-20 when the Panthers could not return a Samantha Oliver serve.
On the next serve, Hauptman went across her body for a tricky dig, then Jaxon Hill put away a key kill to stop some of Kodiak's momentum. The Bears kept fighting, though, and when Skyview failed to return a serve by Manya Wandersee, the match had tightened to 23-22.
Hill came up big with a stuff block to give Skyview match point. The Panthers won the match on a net violation by Kodiak.
"Our intensity was up," Hollers said. "That was key. All it takes is for one person to start showing intensity and everyone feeds off that one person."
Hill paced the Panthers with 14 kills, while Thit Bak had 11 kills, Amanda McDowell had six kills and West had five kills. West led with 17 service points, while Egan had 16. Hill had three stuff blocks, while McDowell and Hauptman each had two. Hauptman and Hill had 20 digs, while Bak had 12, Hollers had 11 and Egan added 10.
For the Bears, Wandersee and Oliver had five kills, while Wandersee, Oliver and Rosevonne Sala each had two aces.
Seward netters sweep Nikiski
The Seward volleyball team swept Nikiski in Southcentral Conference volleyball action on Saturday.
The scores were 25-17, 25-13 and 25-20.
Kodiak downs Homer
The Bears beat the Mariners 25-16, 20-25, 25-23 and 25-21 in Northern Lights Conference action on Saturday. With the loss, Homer falls to 1-4 in the conference.
Homer gave up several points due to unforced errors, Mariners head coach Beth Trowbridge said.
"We didn't really play our best against them," Trowbridge said. "We just couldn't find the court."
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