The Skyview volleyball team swept Kodiak on Thursday in the opening round of the Northern Lights Conference tournament at Skyview.
The Panthers were the lone Kenai Peninsula team to win on Thursday. They advance to tonight's 7 p.m. semifinal against Palmer, which swept Homer on Thursday. The winner moves to Saturday's championship at 5:30 p.m. and earns a berth to the state tournament. Homer plays Kodiak at 3 p.m. in the third-place bracket.
Skyview's scores were 25-16, 25-13 and 25-23. The Panthers, the top seed from the Southern Division, are now 16-2 overall.
"It was closer than the score indicated," Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid said. "Kodiak really fought. They are a good team."
Kupferschmid said her team passed well. Once the Panthers do that, their hitters can take over.
"I tell my kids that winning serve and serve-receive is always a big key for us," Kupferschmid said. "We were able to do that."
Thit Bak had 17 kills, while Jaxon Hill had 10 kills, Alicia West had eight kills and Amanda McDowell had four kills. The setter was Rebecca Egan, who had 16 service points.
"My setter can spray the ball," Kupferschmid said. "She was able to go to a variety of hitters. We have a lot of kids that are able to do some damage."
West had 15 service points, while Mary Hauptman had eight points and six digs. Bak and Caity Marang each had four blocks, while Hill had two blocks and McDowell had three blocks.
The Panthers defeated the Moose last weekend, but Kupferschmid said Palmer was missing one of its key players.
"Palmer's a very good, disciplined team," Kupferschmid said. "They are a good defensive team. I hope the game is not decided in the back row. I hope the game is decided in the front row, where our strength is."
Palmer 3, Homer 0
The Moose, the No. 2 seed from the north, topped the Mariners 25-15, 25-14 and 25-10.
Colony 3, Soldotna 2
The Knights, the No. 3 seed from the north, defeated the Stars, the No. 2 seed from the south by scores of 25-11, 20-25, 25-21, 22-25 and 15-11.
"They just made a few plays at the end," Soldotna coach Bruce King said. "It was back and forth, but they came up at the end and made plays. There was nothing you could say we failed to do."
Despite the loss, King was happy with the way his team played. He said the Stars played their best match of the season, but said Colony just happens to be a very talented team for a No. 3 seed.
Kaycee Munn had a monster match for the Stars, getting 13 kills and 14 digs. She had a .458 hitting percentage.
"She absolutely had a breakout match," King said.
He also pointed to the play of Kylee Woodford, who passed about 40 percent of Colony's serve attempts. Woodford also had 16 digs.
"Her passing was a big part of what we were able to do on offense tonight," King said.
Becca Satathite added 15 digs, three aces and seven kills for the Stars, while Kaillee Skjold had four blocks (two stuff) and seven kills. Sydney Goggia added five blocks (four stuff).
Leah Garske had two aces, while Heidi Westerman had 19 assists and Julie Litchfield had nine assists.
The Stars face Kenai today in the third-place bracket at 11 a.m., while Colony faces Wasilla in the semifinals. Soldotna has beaten Kenai twice this season.
Wasilla 3, Kenai Central 0
The top-seeded Warriors defeated the Kardinals 25-19, 25-19 and 25-17.
Kenai coach John Kennedy said his team played a lot better than last weekend, when the Warriors also swept the Kards.
"We were in the match this time," Kennedy said. "The kids walked away feeling like they have accomplished something. That's what we're shooting for."
The big problem last weekend was serve-receive.
"We did much better in that aspect of the game," Kennedy said. "We were able to pass the ball and get into our attack."
Kennedy said the Kards were just not quite consistent enough to pull out the victory. He said Wasilla was ahead the whole match. When the Kards would draw close, Wasilla would go on a spurt again.
Allie McGahan had five kills and 10 digs for the Kardinals, while Alisha Peterson had five kills, Sierra Glonek had three kills and five blocks and Morgan Wensley had three blocks.
Kennedy is looking for a similar effort today against Soldotna.
"I'm very optimistic the girls are going to come out and play hard and leave everything on the floor," he said.
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