The Nikiski High School volleyball team defeated Anchorage Christian Schools in three games Friday, taking an opportunity to try out some new attacks in its District 3/3A match at Nikiski.
"We tried to add a little zip to our offense, and we were fairly successful," said Nikiski coach Bruce King. "We try to add something new each week so that when we get to regions, we have something other than the plain vanilla offense."
The Bulldogs also were looking to develop some chemistry in the middle of the the front row as middle hitter Krystal Gladden has been out with a knee injury. King said Gladden is hoping to return to the court next weekend, but said players he used in the middle did well.
Indeed, the Lions had no answer to Nikiski's hitting as the Bulldogs were able to either overpower ACS' blockers, or consistently tip the ball around the Lions' block.
Racheal Gerke led the Bulldogs with eight kills while Anjani Salonen had seven kills. King also said Megan Best did well playing in the middle.
"We mixed up our rotation a little bit, and we worked on some of our jump serves," Best said. "We tried to run some things we don't normally run. It definitely wasn't one of our best games, but we played well as a team."
The jump serves in particular gave ACS fits. King said the team had been working on them as a way to change things up, and told his players they could try them in the match if they felt comfortable.
The Bulldogs rode some impressive serving to a 25-16 win in the first game, then took the second game 25-10 with Stacey Griffel serving the last six points.
Nikiski worked its reserves through the rotation in the third game, and after ACS took a quick 4-0 lead, the Bulldogs came back to tie the game, eventually winning 25-18 with Georgie Heaverley notching a kill to finish off the game and the match.
"We're definitely improving," Best said.
Seward 3, Nikiski 1
These two District 3/3A rivals have produced many great matches over the years, and Saturday's tense contest in Seward was no exception.
The Bulldogs took the first game 25-22. The match remained close throughout, but Seward eventually took control.
The Bulldogs won the second game 25-23, the third game 25-23 and the fourth game 25-22.
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