Sports

VOLLEYBALL | Wolves drop wild match to Central Kitsap

South Kitsap junior middle blocker Shannon Laupola had seven blocks during the Wolves’ 25-18, 25-27, 25-21, 31-29 loss Tuesday night against Central Kitsap in Class 4A Narrows League play. - Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo
South Kitsap junior middle blocker Shannon Laupola had seven blocks during the Wolves’ 25-18, 25-27, 25-21, 31-29 loss Tuesday night against Central Kitsap in Class 4A Narrows League play.
— image credit: Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo

It often proves difficult for sequels to top originals.

But for entertainment value, South Kitsap’s 25-18, 25-27, 25-21, 31-29 loss against Central Kitsap on Tuesday night might have been at least as exciting as the first five-set match between the Class 4A Narrows League rivals.

Perhaps that is because the Wolves (6-6 overall, 3-5 league) and Cougars are evenly matched. But Central coach Michelle Miller had another theory.

“I think honestly it’s evenly matched because they all play club together,” she said. “It’s the Kitsap rivalry. We knew it was going to be a really tough match regardless of what team is better any year. It’s always going to be close, I think, just because they all know each other and it means so much to them.”

None was more competitive than the final set. After South took a 24-23 lead, there were five different lead changes before junior outside hitter Kemeka Corry ended the match with a kill for the Cougars (6-5, 5-4).

“It was the perfect set by Erin [Kollars], I must say,” Corry said. “It felt very good.”

She said it also was tense, at times.

“When they got so close it scared us,” said Corry, adding that it was the longest set she has played in. “We just trusted each other and it came out the way we were expecting it to.”

South coach CJ Scott said he was proud of the way his team, which trailed 7-0 to open the fourth set, battled back.

“Someone just needed to make a play and we just couldn’t get over the hump,” he said. “We competed — we got down that last game quite a bit. We came back and just couldn’t pull it out.”

Buoyed by a 16-8 lead in the second set, the Wolves were able to prevail in overtime. They also led 21-20 before dropping the third set. Scott noted his team had 14 serves fall out of bounds during the match.

“That’s a lot of points,” he said. “Even if you get half of those, it’s going to be a big boost. If there was one glaring thing that was it.”

But for Scott, it was not nearly as troubling as his team’s previous match against CK, where it lost 19-25, 18-25, 25-10, 25-17, 15-10 on Sept. 19.

“I’m still thinking of the last CK match,” he said. “It was very bothersome.”

Even with that match in mind, Miller said she wanted to avoid another five-set match.

“Our goal was to not to go to five games with them because in fifth games you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “They’re a good enough team where they can take a fifth game off of us.”

Perhaps that will be reserved for third installment. Both coaches expected their teams to meet in the league playoffs Nov. 2 at Mount Tahoma High School.

“It’s probably going to come down to this again,” Miller said. “Playing again.”

Central Kitsap d. South Kitsap 25-18, 25-27, 25-21, 31-29

Central Kitsap-Kemeka Corry 17 kills, 2 aces, 19 digs; Erin Kollars 12 digs, 40 assists, 6 aces; Kjersten Hillers 10 kills; Lexie Downey 10 kills, 5 aces; Alex Beck 10 digs.

South Kitsap-Hannah Spohn 12 kills, 4 aces; Mikaela Strutz 7 assists; Shannon Laupola 7 blocks; Courtney Schmidt 6 blocks; Zoe Conger 6 digs.

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