Kenai volleyball advances to official semi-final


Staff report

The Kenai Central volleyball team advanced to the semi-finals after two wins on Day 1 of the Class 3A State Volleyball Tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

After knocking down Monroe 3-0 in the first round, Kenai beat Sitka 3-2 to advance to a semifinal at 5:15 pm today against Valdez. The winner advances to the title match on Saturday at 2 p.m., while the loser must defeat the survivor of the play bracket on Saturday at 10 a.m. to qualify for the championship.

The Buccaneers proved to be a wrecking ball of the Southcentral Conference on Thursday, passing Homer 3-0 in the first round before defeating Seward 3-1 in the second round. The Seahawks beat Bethel 3-0 in the first round.

Kenai coach Tracie Beck expects a tough test from Valdez.

“Absolutely, and that’s why you love coming here,” she said. “It’s such a different level of intensity from the teams you see, and it’s so hard.

“It’s an amazing place to play and such an amazing experience for girls with kids from all over the state.”

The tournament is double elimination, so the Mariners and Seahawks will try to find their way through the reading medium.

Homer plays today at 10 a.m. against Bethel, and the winner will play Sitka at 1:30 p.m. Seward awaits the winner of Nome and Monroe in a 3:15 p.m. match. The quarter-final in the reading section will be at 7 p.m.

Kenai 3, Sitka 2

The Kardinals won 25-27, 25-12, 25-12, 17-25, 15-12 over Wolves to move up to 20-0 in long-lasting games.

Jorgi Phillips received Player of the Match with 42 assists and an ace.

“It was well deserved,” Beck said of his passer. “She made good decisions, worked hard, had great pickups and did fantastic service.”

Emma Beck had 23 digs, 21 kills, four tack blocks and two aces, while Andie Galloway had 27 digs, 16 kills and three aces, Kim Chanley had 16 digs and two aces, Valerie Villegas had 34 digs and Cali Holmes had 10 kills. .

On August 25, Kenai started his season with a 3-0 victory over Sitka in Kenai. Coach Beck was expecting a much tougher game this time around. Sitka had three returning players from a team in a state the Kardinals had beaten in 2019.

Beck knew those three hadn’t played much at all in 2020 due to the pandemic, so she knew Wolves would be much better this time around.

“It was no surprise that they showed up and made a great team,” she said.

Beck said that Phillips’ smart play, exaggerated passing and serve made a big difference in Game 5.

Valdez 3, Seward 1

The Buccaneers won 25-20, 26-24, 16-25, 25-22 over the Seahawks to drop Seward to 10-7 on aggregate.

Kenai 3, Monroe 0

The Kardinals started in the first round with a 25-11, 25-17, 30-28 victory over the Rams.

Emma Beck was named player of the match for accumulating 12 kills, four aces and three blocks.

Also for the Kardinals, Jorgi Phillips had 21 assists and four aces, Andie Galloway had 17 digs, eight assists and one ace, Valerie Villegas had 24 digs and Erin Koziczkowski had five blocks of tricks and four kills.

“It was a great game and went as planned,” said Beck. “We saw them at the Grace tournament and we beat them there so we made a little movie about them which was awesome.”

Valdez 3, Homer 0

The Buccaneers won 25-22, 25-20, 25-23 over the Mariners in the first round to drop Homer to 7-3.

Gracie Gummer had 11 assists for the Mariners, while Izze Dye had five and Brooke Shafer had 17 assists.

Homer’s coach Stephanie Carroll texted Zoe Adkins had three aces and was named Player of the Game for her strong defense.

Seward 3, Bethel 0

The Seahawks beat the Warriors in the first round by scores of 25-13, 25-17 and 25-19.

“It was a great game overall,” wrote Seward coach Jodi Kurtz.

Kurtz said the Seahawks have played well on offense and defense and have hit almost all of their serves.


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