Instead, they sat in the stands and watched the Panthers’ next match in anticipation of Friday’s rematch.
The scouting session paid off.
Kodiak got its revenge and handed Skyview its first loss of the season with a 24-26, 25-15, 25-20, 26-24 Northern Lights Conference volleyball victory in the Kodiak High School gym.
“I told them to get a piece of paper and figure out what we need to do,” Kodiak coach Amy Willis said. “They did it. They thought it out. We had a team meeting Monday when we got back and they had five different things to work on.”
Coupled with Kodiak’s nonconference 25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22 victory over Skyview on Saturday, the Bears have won eight consecutive matches after beginning the season with a pair of losses to Soldotna.
Kodiak, the North Division leader, improves to 5-1 in the NLC, 8-2 overall, while Skyview, the South Division leader, falls to 3-1, 6-2.
“They closed their blocks and were a lot tougher at the net against us tonight,” Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid said. “They contained our speed. We couldn’t control their serve, so we didn’t have our offense clicking like it usually does.”
With a roster of eight seniors, it was a sophomore who played a huge role in Friday’s match.
Hannah Wandersee was a force at the net, collecting a team-high 13 kills, four solo blocks and two assisted blocks. Nearly every time Skyview was mounting momentum, Wandersee was there to swing the pendulum back to Kodiak.
“She really likes to think about how she is going to generate that point,” Willis said. “She doesn’t worry so much about a big swing, beautiful, crowd-awing kill ... she just doesn’t really care how the ball gets there, she just wants to put the ball where there is not a body. I really appreciate that. She is a thinker.”
Wandersee also led Kodiak with 14 kills on Saturday.
Kodiak easily could have swept Skyview on Friday. The Bears dropped the first game after failing to convert on a pair of game points.
The next three games went Kodiak’s way, as the Bears built early leads of 12-3, 9-3 and 10-2. Willis said getting out to big leads was key for Kodiak.
“I just wanted them to move forward,” she said. “I do want them to look at the scoreboard to know when they need to keep focused. But, I didn’t want to lull themselves into a sense of security. I don’t think they even felt like they were going to get it.”
The Panthers did come back in the fourth game, outscoring Kodiak 13-5 to take a 23-21 lead.
Kodiak retook the lead at 24-23 on a pair of Skyview hitting errors and a Puni Timu kill.
After a Panther kill by Brittanie Whipple, the Bears’ Manya Wandersee ended the match with a block kill and tough serve that was mishit several times by the Panthers before the ball fell to the ground.
“The fourth set could have went our way and then it is whole new game going into the fifth, but we will take it and use it,” Kupferschmid said.
Manya Wandersee ended with 10 kills, while Timu added 18 digs, seven kills and three aces.
On Friday and Saturday, Kodiak travels to the Grace Invitational in Anchorage.
Kodiak’s junior varsity lost both Friday and Saturday 22-25, 26-24, 25-20, 21-25, 15-8 and 25-22, 25-20,
Kodiak’s C squad lost Friday 25-12, 25-22, 27-25 and won Saturday 21-25, 25-15, 15-6.