The Kenai Central High School volleyball team spoiled Skyview's senior night, defeating the host Panthers in three games in a Northern Lights Conference match Tuesday.
"The kids were flat, and Kenai just went about taking care of business. Nothing special, we just came out flat and tired," said Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid.
The Panthers took an early lead in the first game before Kenai, playing without a pair of regular starters, scratched back, tying the game at nine on a kill by Jamie Peterson.
After trading several points, a kill from Peterson tied the game at 18 and three straight service points by Kelsey Brewer gave the Kardinals the lead for good. Katie Foley served two points for the game, with Samantha Calderwood pounding a kill off the Skyview blockers on game point for a 25-21 win.
Foley got Kenai rolling to start the second game, opening with a pair of aces and a four-point run from the service line.
Skyview pulled even and led by three points, 22-19, after a kill by Anna Bonebrake, but the Panthers weren't able to sustain their momentum.
Kenai won the serve and a point on an awkward Skyview set, and Brewer served five straight points for a 25-22 win to put Kenai up 2-0.
Kenai kept rolling in the third game as four straight service points from Amber McGlasson gave the Kardinals a 6-3 lead. Skyview wasn't able to mount a comeback, and the Kardinals wrapped up the match with a 25-15 win.
"We just came off a pretty successful weekend. We were missing a couple of starters, but my backups did quite well," said Kenai coach Jason Diorec.
Diorec said that with a pair of players missing, he gave the responsibility of keeping the team together and focused to the other four seniors on the floor.
"We picked it up in the second game," said Calderwood, a senior. "We were communicating a lot, and we were hitting fairly smart.
"The people who are usually on the bench really stepped it up on the court today."
Foley was called on to play setter, and Diorec said he liked the way she ran the team. Foley even was able to run several quick-set plays with McGlasson and Kyla Stewart.
Both the Kardinals and the Panthers now have their eyes on finishing up the regular season and being in a good position for the conference tournament.
"Mentally, the girls allow themselves to get on a roller coaster. We're going to start dialing in the mental toughness," Diorec said.
"We can still pick it up. That's what we're going to start working on tomorrow," Calderwood said.
Homer 3, Soldotna 1
The Mariners defeated the Stars in four games in a Northern Lights Conference match in Homer Tuesday.
The Mariners won the first game 25-8 and the second game 25-21 before Soldotna was able to buckle down and take the third game 25-20. Homer closed out the match with a 25-14 win in the fourth game.
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