South Kitsap starts off the season unbeaten

"Up 2-1 in games, the South Kitsap High School volleyball team looked like it was on its way to an easy victory against Life Christian Thursday night at the SK gym.But LC wouldn't go down without a fight and came within a point of sending the match to a fifth and deciding game.The Wolves found themselves trailing 14-9 in that fourth set after handing LC eight points via hitting errors. But the Wolves showed they were determined not to force a fifth set, reeling off six straight points to take a 15-14 lead. Senior Rachelle Cooper pounded three of her 20 kills in that six-point swing.LC regained the lead at 16-15 after a Cooper hitting error and an LC kill, but SK earned a side out and tied the game 16-16 when a pair of LC players were in the net.Reserve junior Rebekah Proctor, who hadn't entered the game until the fourth game, landed a kill in the left corner for her only kill of the game but it was clearly one of the most important points of the match. Freshman Stephanie Olsen ended the match when she strategically set the ball in the same corner for the kill and win 18-16.Junior Katie Ralph followed Cooper with 12 kills and led the team with five aces.Junior Erin Olsen led the Wolves with 19 assists and contributed eight kills.Stephanie Olsen followed with five kills.The Wolves improved to 2-0 on the season after opening the season with a straight-set victory at Spanaway Lake.SK's next match pits the team against Olympic League powerhouse Central Kitsap Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the SK gym.SK will follow with a home match against Federal Way Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.Wolves' players say the win against LC showed a combination of good and bad things.I can tell it's the beginning of the season, Erin Olsen said. It's good that we've started out with two wins. We just gotta keep working on the fundamentals.Cooper echoed the same sentiments.I haven't really connected with my setters yet, Cooper said. We did a little bit today, but the first game I wasn't doing too well. I don't know what my problem is.Ralph also said the rust was evident and she could tell it was still preseason. But Ralph said she likes the win-at-all-cost mentality of this year's group.After coming back in the fourth game Ralph said she hopes the team can come back from deficits all year long.We got sick of having all the momentum and watching it go down (last year), Ralph said. I think we've all changed our mindsets.We talk really well and we're good about calling things and covering our tips, Cooper said. We're going to improve every time we play.After blazing out to a 15-4 win in the first game, Life Christian battled back to take the second game 15-11.In a pivotal third game, both teams bore down, unwilling to give an inch.Trailing 11-13, SK scored the next two points to tie the game.An LC ace put it within one point of a win but Stephanie Olsen tied the score with a kill.Erin Olsen and Ralph followed with back-to-back kills to take the third game.Though the win was full of mental and physical mistakes, Cooper said she's going to enjoy watching this SK team win a lot of matches.I'm so excited for this season, she said. I was even before it started because I knew we have so much talent. "

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