Kodiak’s volleyball team returns to Northern Lights Conference action today as the Bears play at Wasilla in a rare noon start time in front of the Warriors’ student body.

“Playing in front of somebody else’s student body shouldn’t be as scary as playing in front of your own,” Kodiak coach Amy Willis said. “That would make them much more nervous. As long as there is good crowd control, it should be fine.”

Kodiak and Wasilla play again Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Both matches count towards the NLC standings.

These are Kodiak’s first NLC matches since sweeping Kenai on Sept. 8. The Bears are 2-2 in the NLC, 2-2 overall.

Kodiak spent last week at the West Spiketacular in Anchorage, where it swept Wasilla in two sets, 25-23, 25-13.

“I feel confident against what I saw,” Willis said. “Their team seems very young. I think, like us, they graduated a lot of seniors.”

Willis was pleased with what she saw from her team last weekend. Kodiak went 4-4 in pool play and finished second in the bronze bracket.

“I loved the blocking,” Willis said. “It was all of a sudden we got our block on.”

Junior Megan Pyles led Kodiak with 14 blocks, more than her total for the entire season to date.

“She earned an apple slice for every block she got,” Willis said. “I think the kid ate maybe four or five whole apples by the end of the tournament. That motivation might not work this week, we might have to go to some other fruit.”

Junior Hannah Wandersee also had nine blocks to go along with 48 kills and 12 aces. She was the only Kodiak player selected to the all-tournament team.

“Last weekend was just gold for us, as far as practicing goes,” Willis said. “Some of the things that we learned and improved on over last weekend we we will be able to apply against Wasilla.”

Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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