Kodiak deals with adversity in losses to Colony

Kodiak’s Carole Lampl reaches for the volleyball during a high school match against Colony on Saturday at the Kodiak High School gym. (Derek Clarkston photo)

Near the closing moments of Kodiak’s final set against Colony on Saturday the Bears reeled off eight straight points.

Kodiak still trailed 21-15, but it gave coach Rick Carman something to build on heading into the final two weeks of the volleyball season.

“The last 10 points we started to disrupt their play a little bit. We started to get into a rhythm a little bit,” he said.

“I kind of threw a lineup out there just to test some things and I liked kind of what I saw on it. I’m just going to put that one in the memory bank for regions.”

Outside of that run, the weekend belonged to Colony as the Knights took six of seven sets from Kodiak in a pair of Northern Lights Conference matches.

On Friday, the Knights won 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18 and on Saturday won 25-18, 25-11, 25-15 at Kodiak High School.

Kodiak finishes NLC play at 3-7, 4-8 overall.

The Bears went winless against the North Division — Colony, Palmer and Wasilla — and will most likely be the fourth seed at the NLC tournament in two weeks at Skyview.

“We know we are going to go in against the No. 1 seed out of the south, which is OK with us,” Carman said.

Kodiak dealt with adversity throughout practice this week. The team lost one of its seniors, while libero Roseann Arcilla hurt her knee during Wednesday’s practice, which sidelined the junior for the two matches.

Two other players were also getting over the flu. Kodiak only had six varsity players during one practice last week. 

“It’s one of those where you go, ‘OK, what is going to be next?”’ Carman said. “But it is what it is and you have to play.

“The players that I throw in there I expect to step up. They did OK, but a lot of them were dead still nervous. Their hands were shaking. But, maybe that is good now. Because if I need them at regions they will be used to it.”

Arcilla is getting an MRI on the knee this week. Depending on the results she could be back for Kodiak’s final two games of the regular season at Nikiski on Friday and Saturday.

“Rose was the smallest person on the court, but was the loudest person on the court in the back row,” Carman said.  “I need to find that voice back.”

Sophomore Rona-Jean Aquino filled in for Arcilla in her first varsity action, while sophomore Olivia Bennett also made her varsity debut.

“We have to work on some stuff, because we have holes in our lineup now,” Carman said. “There is going to be a chance for some junior varsity players to get up and play.”

Kodiak struggled the entire weekend against the height of Colony, a team Carman said is the tallest in the conference.

The Bears had a season-low seven team kills on Saturday. On Friday, Kodiak had 28 kills.

“It seems like when they got rid of one tall person they got three more back,” Carman said. “You can’t go through them, you have to go around them. They are tall. Jumping ability is OK, but height is going to triumph you most of the time.”

Shellina Irwin led the Knights both nights. The senior captain had 14 kills and 13 digs on Friday and 10 kills and eight digs on Saturday.

Mayna Wandersee led Kodiak on Friday with six kills, five aces and two blocks.

The Bears won the first set of Friday’s match and held leads in both of the next two sets, only to watch Colony (4-3 in the NLC) finish with a string of points.

On Saturday, Kodiak led only twice in three sets — both came in the first set.

“We got to reset, reprioritize and find ourselves again,” Carman said.

Dig Pink

Friday’s match raised $2,400 for the Side-out Foundation. Carman said donations are still being collected through October.

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