Sports

Volleyball: Olympic comes from behind to stymie South Kitsap

It is difficult to imagine a younger team in the Narrows League than South Kitsap.

Among the six starters in the Wolves’ starting lineup for their season opener Tuesday, four were sophomores.

That much youth often translates into inconsistency, which South experienced during a 21-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-20 and 15-8 loss against Olympic.

“It would’ve been nice to get a win in the first nonleague game, but now we know what we need to work on,” South coach Jessica Anderson said.

One area that hurt the Wolves, particularly in the fourth game, was serves. They either hit the net or knocked the ball out of bounds on serves five times. Anderson said blocking also will be an emphasis for improvement.

“We’re slow on our blocks,” she said. “Our timing isn’t exactly right on and our placement of our blocks isn’t right.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of not being able to close it out. It’s a combination of missed serves and we need to learn how to be more aggressive. Does that come with the territory of being young? Maybe.”

The Wolves, who faced deficits of at least five points in each game, appeared to be in good position when they battled back to take a 2-0 lead. But the Trojans responded by taking larger leads in the final three games and never relinquishing them.

“I’m really proud because we’re a young team,” Olympic coach Keith Peden said. “A lot of young teams after losing two games like that kind of will fold up their tents.”

Senior outside hitter Shannon Jackson ended the match with one of her team-high 13 kills. Teammate Monica Phinney, a junior outside hitter, added 12 kills and four aces.

“You can’t ask for a better situation,” Peden said. “I’m excited we got to schedule a quality team like South Kitsap and do so well.”

While the Wolves did not win, Anderson said her team displayed improvement from its jamboree during the weekend.

“This is their first nonleague game,” she said. “Comparing it to the jamboree during the weekend, we played better. That is a positive.”

South won the first two games on a kill by junior middle blocker Maile Keanu and an ace from junior outside hitter Sarah Lacey.

Anderson said the team is running a 5-1 offense, which uses the setter around the court. In this case, it is sophomore Kailyn Skjonsby.

“I’m proud of my setter,” Anderson said. “She calls the plays; she has the pressure; she has every second ball. She’s handling the pressure very well right now.”

The busy week continues for Skjonsby and her teammates. After Thursday’s match against Foss, they travel to Yakima for the annual Sundome Tournament.

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