In a battle of No. 1 versus No. 2, it was league-leading North Kitsap that came out on top against the Bremerton Knights Tuesday.
The Vikings won the highly-anticipated Olympic League 2A volleyball match 3-1 at Bremerton High.
After opening with a convincing 25-10 win, North Kitsap (9-1 overall, 8-0 OL) had its hands full with a fired-up Knights squad that battled and fought for every point in the second game — thanks to several big hits from senior Lily Gelhaus. Bremerton (8-2, 7-2) finally came out with a 26-24 win on a tip at the net by Ali Root.
“We talk a lot about having the mindset of being a winner,” Bremerton coach Sara Todorovich-Ballas said. “We’re working on team unity … and togetherness as a team. But, I’m pretty proud of how these girls battled today. I see a night and day difference from the beginning of the season until now.”
North Kitsap regrouped for the third game and took control early, building a big lead and earning a 25-12 win. The Vikings kept the momentum in the deciding game, getting key hits from freshman Riley Rabedeaux, senior Olivia Selembo, and sophomore Noey Barreith. It was Barreith’s kill on match-point ended it, 25-17.
Vikings coach Tim French was glad his team played such a scrappy opponent.
“We haven’t met a lot of teams that have the same amount of scrappiness as we do,” he said. “This was a big match for us. It puts us two games up … and gives us a little bit of a cushion. Hopefully, we can keep doing the job, and we’d really like to host that (league) tournament.”
North will have to work on avoiding any lulls, like what the Vikings experienced in the second game, French said.
“We didn’t have the same intensity,” he said.
The Knights are staying focused on the future and would like to see North again, this time in the playoffs.
“I’m by no means unhappy with how they played,” Todorovich-Ballas said. “We are working on competing and finishing (and) NK is a tough team. You can’t make mistakes, and when you do, it’s hard on us. It would be fun to get another rematch with them.”
Also: Olympic beat North Mason 3-1. Game scores were 23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-18. Holly Hough led the Trojans with 27 digs, Ashton Mortrud finished with 20 digs while Jaylaa Cabrera had 12 digs and nine kills. Natalie Lindahl contributed nine kills for Oly while Kaylani Riley had 37 assists. … Kingston improved to 5-4 in league play with a 3-1 win over Port Angeles.