Kenai's Lindsay Keener jumps to block a shot from Skyview's Melissa Fay during Thursday's match at Kenai.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Skyview High School volleyball team showed grit and determination Thursday, rallying to defeat Kenai Central in five games in a Northern Lights Conference match at Kenai.
"Coach (Sheila Kupferschmid) just said to us, after learning how to fight like that, we'd better start making some lofty goals," said Skyview's Amy Arestad.
"We were all determined determined to win the game and get our spot (in the conference tournament)," added teammate Michelle Hicks.
While the Panthers were determined, it was the Kardinals that came out swinging as Samantha Calderwood capped a long rally with a kill for a 25-19 Kenai win in the first game.
Skyview came right back, though, and Cady Bon served for five straight points to give the Panthers an 8-2 lead early in the second game.
Kenai came back, tying the game at 19 on an ace serve from Katie Foley and a reaction tip for a point by Calderwood after Skyview blocked her hit.
The Kardinals lost the serve when they were whistled for a net violation, though, and a kill by Arestad got the Panthers going again.
"We just had a couple of good kills, and our defense stepped it up," Arestad said. "We got a couple of kills that broke them down a little bit, and we used that opportunity to fight back."
Kenai pulled back to within a point, 23-22, but Skyview's Anna Bonebrake came up with a big block to secure a 25-22 win.
The Kardinals jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third game as Jamie Peterson won her team the serve with a kill and Kendra Steiner served up four straight points.
Kenai maintained its lead through the rest of the game, though Skyview battled back to within a point, 24-23. Kenai won the game on the next rally, though, as the Skyview blockers brushed the net trying to stuff Kenai's return.
In the fourth game, the Kardinals found themselves battling back after Skyview took an early lead. A kill by Peterson gave Kenai an 11-10 lead, but Bonebrake responded with a kill to tie the game, and Jennifer Holland regained the lead for the Panthers with three straight service points.
Kenai trailed by five, 22-17, late in the game but tied the game at 22 on a service run by Steiner Peterson won the serve with a kill and added another on the next rally, Amber McGlasson had a quick-set kill and Steiner hit a pair of serves Skyview couldn't return before Skyview could win back the serve.
Even while Kenai was coming back, the Panthers were building momentum, feeding off a play in which Holland went crashing into the bleachers to keep a ball in play.
"It didn't matter (that we didn't win the point) because it pumped us up and gave us confidence we could win the next point," Arestad said.
Bonebrake recorded a block for a 24-22 lead, and after a scramble just to get the ball back over the net on the next rally, Bonebrake's bump kissed the court just inside the line for a 25-22 win, sending the match to a fifth game.
Bon quickly served the Panthers to a 5-1 lead, and after Kenai picked up two points, Bonebrake made it 10-3 on her serve.
Kenai rallied late, pulling to within four points, 14-10, on a kill by Calderwood, but after a Skyview timeout, the final serve of the game sailed just long, giving the Panthers the match with a 15-10 win.
"Both team competed their hearts out. Balls could've went either way," Kupferschmid said. "It was one of those games where both teams competed hard. Kenai very well could've won it."
Amber Kunz led the Panthers with 12 kills while Bonebrake and Arestad each recorded 11 kills. Holland had 16 points from the service line to go with her 12-of-13 defensive performance. Bonebrake served for 10 points and had nine blocks, and Bon served up 14 points to go with her five kills.
Kenai coach Jason Diorec seemed frustrated after the match.
"I think the girls are just trying to find themselves, find their team," Diorec said. "Making decisions they're adults, they're going to make decisions. ... They've got to decide on a route and go with it."
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