Derek Clarkston/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Kodiak’s Kathryn Carstens hits the ball during a volleyball match against Colony earlier this season at Kodiak High School. 

Kodiak volleyball emerged from its four-match, three-day trip on the Kenai Peninsula with a .500 winning percentage. 

The Bears swept aside Kenai in a pair of Northern Lights Conference matches, winning Thursday 25-13, 26-24, 22-25, 25-13 and 25-13, 25-13, 25-15 on Saturday. 

Against Soldotna, Kodiak fell 25-11, 25-19, 23-25, 25-21 on Friday and 25-19, 25-23, 19-25, 25-16 on Saturday. 

“We are really pleased with our wins over Kenai,” Kodiak coach Amy Willis said. "We did let them get a set on Thursday, and then really focused on what we needed to do to eliminate those kinds of errors.”  

 With more than half of its NLC schedule played, Kodiak sits with a 2-4 record — a win better than all of last season. The Bears get no time to rest as they host conference foe Wasilla on Friday and Saturday in the final regular season matches on the island. 

Kodiak topped Wasilla a week ago in the championship match of the Silver Bracket at the West Spiketacular. Since then, the Warriors handed Colony its first conference loss with a 3-1 win last Tuesday. Colony is 5-1 in the NLC, followed by Soldotna (4-1), Wasilla (2-1), Kodiak, Palmer (1-2) and Kenai (0-5). 

The Bears also played Soldotna during the West Spiketacular, but Willis said the team she scouted was not as strong as the team Kodiak played over the weekend. 

“We just needed one more trick in our basket, which we didn’t have,” Willis said. “Our hope this weekend against Wasilla is to keep modifying, moving forward, polishing and getting better.” 

Kyla Nocon, Ruth Dela Cruz and Kathryn Carstens were all over the court for Kodiak during the four games.  

The junior Nocon paced the team with 29 kills, 33 assists and 61 digs. The senior Dela Cruz tallied 24 kills, 43 assists, 45 digs and 15 service aces. The junior Carstens logged 21 kills, 19 digs, three aces and five blocks (two solo).

“I expect nothing but consistency from them, so it doesn’t surprise me when they meet our expectations; it would surprise me that they didn’t,” Willis said. “We did get some great stuff out of other athletes this weekend.”

Junior Madelaine Egdorf also had a solid four games, compiling 14 kills — eight in Saturday’s match against Soldotna. Willis said she was also pleased with the play of junior Katie Banks and senior Abi Coombs, who had seven aces in 44 serves.  

This weekend’s set against Wasilla is the final home matches of the season for Kodiak. However, the Bears will be holding off honoring their seven seniors — Jesse Macariola, Coombs, Tiana Famui, Edlen Mangosing, Victoria Beaver, Kateleen Sofranes and Dela Cruz — until the Blue vs. Old match on Oct. 14. 

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