Sports

Wolves short on intensity but not victories

Despite getting off to a 4-1 start this year, the South Kitsap girls’ volleyball team knows it can do better. And even though the Wolves got to that mark by taking three straight games Thursday night in knocking off Mount Tahoma, they know there’s much work to be done.

“The whole team kind of dragged,” second-year coach Jessica Anderson said. “We’ve been talking about not playing to the level of the teams we’re playing against. And we have to learn, somehow, to switch that around so we’re always playing our top game.”

While never in any danger of losing to the Thunderbirds, South played a bit of an uneven game on its way to a 25-23, 25-22, 25-15 win.

“It didn’t feel that way to me,” Anderson said. “They gave me early heart disease.”

But behind 19 assists from senior setter Ashley Youngs and solid play from outside hitters Erika Doremus and Joyce Vaiaga’e, the Wolves recorded their fourth straight win.

“We kind of sunk down into a hole this game,” Youngs said. “We tend to play at the level of our opponent, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.”

Although South won the first two games by a combined five points, the Thunderbirds posed no real threat and the Wolves made sure of that by dominating the third and final game, winning going away.

“Finally, it took them two and a half games to start playing where they’re normally playing,” Anderson said. “And we talk about going into that emotional hole. Because for this team, when they start getting down on themselves and dwelling on the mistakes they made, they keep going down and it’s really hard for them to get themselves back up. But we’re working on that. We’ll get through it.”

Doremus, who sat out the first game for being late to a team meeting, said the Wolves entered the week playing well but lapsed back into an old and bad habit on Thursday night.

“At the (Kentlake) tournament, I was real happy with the way we were playing,” Doremus said. “But when we play lower-level teams, we need to work on our intensity, that’s all. If we get the intensity up, we’ll be fine.”

Tuesday’s game saw South beat Stadium 25-16, 25-17, 21-25 and 25-23 as Doremus recorded 11 kills with Sarah Neighbors had 29 digs.

Kylen Boddie helped out with 16 assists and six kills while Youngs added 22 assists.

The Wolves have two non-league games this week, Monday against Lincoln and Wednesday at Foss, before opening Narrows League Bridge Division play Oct. 4 at home against Gig Harbor.

The South junior varsity ran its season mark to 5-0 with a pair of wins last week.

The junior Wolves had little trouble with Mount Tahoma, winning by scores of 25-18, 25-10 and 16-14. Alissa Grant had eight digs for South while Lauren Dorsey recorded four assists and two aces.

Erica Briker had three aces and Jessica Jordan had two kills.

Earlier in the week, the Wolves swept Stadium 25-22, 25-10 and 15-11 behind three kills and four aces from Dorsey while Bricker had three assists and an ace.

Grant had two digs for South while Kelsa Vandenboss had three digs and a pair of aces.

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