Colony sweeps Kenai for crown

Posted: Sunday, November 06, 2005

 

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  Skyview¿s Candace Penrod gets under the ball Saturday in the fourth game against Palmer. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Kenais Lindsay Keener spikes the ball over Colonys Kelcy Joynt in the second game of Saturday nights Northern Lights Conference championship tournament at Soldotna High School.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Kenai Central took a step up Saturday evening, but still came up a bit short against the Colony Knights, dropping a 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 decision in the Northern Lights Conference championship volleyball match at Soldotna High School.

Last season, Kenai placed third at the conference tourney, and the team's goal this year was to again earn a berth in the state tournament. Mission accomplished.

"We moved up one more position from last year," Kardinals coach Jason Diorec said following the championship match. "That's definitely a plus."

Despite losing in three games, Kenai was far from overmatched against the Knights, which won last year's tourney as well and boast one of the state's most powerful hitters in Kelcy Joynt, the NLC Northern Division's player of the year.

Kenai led in each of the three games, but couldn't quite muster enough power to top the Knights by game's end.

In the first game, Kenai tied things up at 11-11 before letting Colony go on a 14-7 run to finish the game.

 

Kenais Jamie Peterson sets the ball in the first game Saturday. Peterson was voted Northern Lights Conference Southern Division player of the year.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The second game was much closer, with the Kardinals taking a 22-21 lead behind some big kills from Lindsay Keener, Amber McGlasson and Southern Division player of the year Jamie Peterson. Keener had a team-high four kills in the game, while Peterson and McGlasson each added three. Joynt, however, got the game's final point with a solid kill that left Kenai in a 2-0 hole.

"We knew it was going to be a hard game," Joynt said following the match.

For the match, Peterson led Kenai with nine kills, while Keener had eight and McGlasson added seven.

Kenai's Samantha Calderwood, who along with Peterson was named to the all-NLC first team, said following the match that the Kardinals have a bad habit of losing momentum at times — a killer against top teams like Colony.

"We have our real good stretches and then all of the sudden we'll let one point get us down for another stretch," Calderwood said.

That trait was most evident in the final game of the match, which saw Kenai run off 10 straight points to jump out to an 18-11 lead.

Diorec said Colony's taller players — especially Joynt and fellow all-NLC first team selection Jordan Pokryfki — were tough to stop once Kenai got away from its regular offense and started trying to attack straight up.

 

Skyviews Jennifer Holland sends the ball past Palmers Ashley Dickerson in the first of Saturdays four games for the Northern Lights Conference third-place title.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

"If we go head to head, that's too much for my outside hitters," Diorec said.

Joynt was especially tough down the stretch, nailing five of her match-high 12 kills over the game's final 15 points. She said the win was especially gratifying considering only four of Colony's players were on last year's team.

"This year, to come back and win with a whole new team is pretty cool," she said.

Despite dropping the championship game, Diorec — who himself was honored as the NLC's coach of the year — said he's proud of how far his team has come thus far.

"Our goal was met," he said. "We're going to state."

Calderwood said she believes the Kardinals can make a run during the state tournament if they can find a way to get a little more consistent and not lose focus during critical times.

"We're very confident this year and have a lot of faith in each other that we have what it takes," she said. "We just have to show up for every game."

 

Skyviews Candace Penrod gets under the ball Saturday in the fourth game against Palmer.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Third place match

Palmer 3, Skyview 1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-18, 25-19)

The Skyview Panthers scratched and clawed their way into Saturday's third-place game, only to run out of steam against the Palmer Moose.

"I thought we got a little tired," Panthers coach Sheila Kupferschmid said following the loss.

Despite dropping the match, Kupferschmid said she was extremely proud with how her team played in the tournament, especially following the Panthers' win against Homer earlier in the day.

"We had a tough win against Homer just to have an opportunity to go to state," she said.

Skyview put themselves in a position to face Palmer with a gutsy 25-12, 25-14, 20-25, 26-24 over the Mariners on Saturday morning.

Against the Moose, however, Skyview had a hard time finding its rhythm throughout the match. In the first game, Palmer never relented after jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead and led wire-to-wire.

Skyview showed its heart in the second game, however, getting two service aces from Jordan Grant to open things up. The Panthers then got some great play up front from Anna Bonebrake, who led all players with 15 kills and was named to the all-NLC first team.

"She did a great job on the net," Kupferschmid said of Bonebrake.

Also chipping in for the Panthers were Michelle Hicks with six kills and Jennifer Holland with five.

Despite picking up a win in the second game, Skyview was unable to carry much momentum into the rest of the match against the Moose, which made it to the third-place game by beating Soldotna earlier in the day in three games.

Still, Kupferschmid said she was proud of how hard her team fought against Palmer, one of the largest schools in the conference.

"I thought we were very competitive against the Valley schools," she said.

Coming up just short of a trip to state, she said, is nothing to be ashamed of for the scrappy Panthers.

"My kids definitely gave it their all," she said.

All-Northern Lights Conference Volleyball

1st team: Jordan Pokryfki, Colony; Samantha Calderwood, Kenai Central; Brittney VanSandt, Homer; Kaylee Johnson, Wasilla; Paige Blackburn, Soldotna; Stephani Houser, Palmer; Jamie Peterson, Kenai Central; Kelcy Joynt, Colony; Anna Bonebrake, Skyview.

2nd team: Rachel Bornheimer, Homer; Reba Temple, Homer; Ashlen Welch, Wasilla; Amber McGlasson, Kenai; Kendra Steiner, Kenai; Jennifer Holland, Skyview; Brianne Johnson, Kodiak; Roweena Yamat, Kodiak; Ashley Dickerson, Palmer; Laura Harro, Soldotna; Dani Donaldson, Soldotna.

Southern Division MVP: Jamie Peterson, Kenai Central.

Northern Division MVP: Kelcy Joynt, Colony.

Coach of the year: Jason Diorec, Kenai Central.



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