• Homer High alumni edge Lady Mariner varsity in three games
by Sean Pearson
Several familiar faces from the past graced Alice Witte Gymnasium on Saturday as the Homer Lady Mariner varsity volleyball squad got a lesson on “respecting your elders” from the high school’s alumni team.
The alumni had a stellar showing of past talent, and easily took the high school team in three games 19-25, 23-25, 15-25.
“We were fairly weary after our two intense five-game matches during the week, and we were definitely facing a very fired-up and determined alumni team,” Homer Head Coach Beth Trowbridge said. “And, in the great spirit of Alice Witte, the match was intense, yet with great sportsmanship and fun.”
Trowbridge said her team was “impressed” by alumni Reba Temple’s strong presence at the net, as well as Lyndsay Layland’s aggressive all-around play.
Bailey Lowney provided excellent setting and executed a number of plays. Rounding out the alumni were Sierra Smith, Jessie Erickson, Jessica Marx and Anita DeCreeft.
According to Trowbridge, the varsity’s best performance came in game two of the match, where Zoia Basargin picked up a team-high 15 kills, and Tayla Cabana and Jane Rohr each added six.
Larsen Fellows led the offense with 17 setting assists.
On Friday, the Lady M’s took on Kenai in non-conference action, making up a September game cancellation.
“We were excited to play them again after having beat them at the Peninsula Challenge the weekend before,” Trowbridge said. “We (the two teams) seem to be pretty evenly matched overall and the games were close.”
Trowbridge said the first game was intense and close and set the pace for the evening. The Lady Mariners’ lost 23-25, but then came back to win the second and third games, 25-21 and 25-18.
“Kenai put up a fight in game four and we let a string of unforced errors at the beginning of the game get us into a hole,” Trowbridge said. “But we fought back as well and ended up tying the game 19-19.”
The Lady M’s used another strong serving run by Cabana to tie the game at 22, before Kenai finished it with a string of three points. The Kards jumped out to an early 7-1 lead in game five, but Homer fought back to tie it up again. After several lead changes, Kenai finished the game 15-12. Trowbridge said “spectacular defense” kept both teams in the game until the very end.
“In the end, it seemed like it was the little things that made the difference,” she explained. “Our offense struggled with unforced errors and two of our main hitters — who had been so strong during the Peninsula Challenge — couldn’t find their rhythm.”
Basargin had another strong overall match, leading the team with 15 kills, 100 percent serving, six solo blocks and 23 digs. Cabana added strong serving, with a team-high five, 26 kills, one solo block and 17 digs.
In possibly her best offensive effort this year, Jane Rohr added 12 kills, with a 50 percent kill efficiency.
“Her attack from the right side was effective at throwing off the Kenai offense,” Trowbridge said. “Maggie Koplin also played one of her best defensive matches of the season, stifling the Kenai offense by picking up many of their attacks.
Pitzman had a strong blocking night with seven solo blocks, and also brought the team points with her 15 kills from the middle. Fellows rounded things out with two aces, nine kills, two solo blocks and 17 assists. Homer travels to Houston on Thursday for a conference match, and then on to the Grace Christian Volleyball Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
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