Stars, Bulldogs finish with wins

Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2000

The Nikiski High School volleyball team finished out the regular season with a pair of Region III/3A wins, defeating Heritage on Friday and Grace Christian on Saturday.

The Bulldogs won Friday's game at Heritage in three games, 15-12, 15-3, 15-9. The Bulldogs had similar success against the Grizzlies of Grace, winning in three games 15-6, 15-3, 15-12.

The Bulldogs finish the regular season at 11-1 in the region, tied with Seward for the top seed in next week's region tournament.

Nikiski coach Cherrie Hobart-Verkuilen was pleased to see the Bulldogs on top of their service game, missing just one serve during the course of the weekend.

"That's a good thing this late in the season," Hobart-Verkuilen said.

April Lofstedt led the charge from the service line, putting all 47 of her serves in play.

Karen Rabung and Laura Berdahl each had six kills against Heritage while Lofstedt notched three kills.

Berdahl and Rabung each had seven kills against Grace while Ashlee Gillaspie had four. Hobart-Verkuilen was impressed with the effort, particularly because Mindy Cason, another of Nikiski's hitters, missed the trip because of an emergency appendectomy earlier this week.

"Karen and April really did a great job," Hobart-Verkuilen said. "Whenever we were having trouble terminating a play, they always seemed to be the ones to do it."

The Bulldogs will wait for a coin flip to determine whether they or the Seahawks receive the top seed for the region tournament which begins Thursday at Anchorage Christian.


Kathryn Becker did something special Saturday for Soldotna.

With the Stars down 5-0 in game four of their match at Wasilla, Becker toed the service line and ended the match with 15 straight serves, 10 of them aces, giving the Soldotna the Region III/4A match with a 15-5 win.

"That hasn't happened in a while," said Soldotna coach Ron Becker.

"It couldn't have come at a better time."

Soldotna took the first game of the match 15-12, but lost the second game 15-11. The Stars won game three 15-9.

"After the first game, we passed the ball really well," Becker said.

"Toni (Gilbert) and Kathryn set the ball really well for Hillary (Zobeck), Danielle (Kerrone), Rachel (Besse) and Gretta (Besse). We started hitting the ball and that got Wasilla back on their heels."

Becker said that Rachel Besse had a chance to play some in the back row after the Stars went through several rotations.

"It was a good experience for her," Becker said. "That could happen down the road. I thought she did a nice job in the back row."

Becker said that Alecia Malchoff had a strong serving game, particularly in game three.

"That finishes the season off on a positive note, with a win against a good team," Becker said.

At 8-2, Soldotna has the top record in the Southern Division of Region III.


The Kardinals started strong but fell in three games to Wasilla in a Region III/4A match Friday at Wasilla.

The Warriors needed extra points to beat Kenai in game one, 16-14, but the close loss deflated the Kardinals and Wasilla won game two 15-5. The Warriors closed out the match with a 15-4 win in game three.

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