Vikings spike Bucs in three sets

KINGSTON — The North Kitsap Viking volleyball team continued its unbeaten streak this week, but not without a fight from district rival Kingston on Monday.

After a five-day break following a big win over the 4A Central Kitsap Cougars, the Vikings came into Kingston rusty, but regrouped to beat the Buccaneers in three sets.

“A couple of our girls seemed a little nervous, actually,” North Kitsap Head Coach Tim French said. “After beating CK, I knew it was a possibility that we would let up a little. I thought we came around better in the last game and played more our style.”

The Vikings went on two separate 6-0 runs in the final set, both with junior Bryana Bohl serving. When Bohl gets into a serving groove, French said the team calls it the ‘B Zone.’

“It’s one of my happy places as a coach,” French said.

Bohl finished the match with eight aces and 10 digs. Teammate Sarah Baugh led the offense with 10 kills and 13 assists, and Taylor Ottomano added 10 kills of her own. Katie Smeland led the Viking defense with 12 digs.

Kingston’s Kyla Miedema led her squad with four kills, and Alexia Johnson had nine digs for the Bucs.

North Kitsap came close to dropping the first set in Monday’s match, but capitalized on a handful of Kingston mistakes to earn a 25-22 win. After that, the Viking machine ran more smoothly and won the second and third sets with scores of 25-16 and 25-8.

When the two teams met on Sept. 14 at North Kitsap, the Vikings won handily with scores of 25-9, 25-11 and 25-4.

“We probably didn’t come in as intense as we should have,” Ottomano said. “They’re definitely better than the last time we played. They were a lot stronger when it came to passing.”

The win bumped the Vikings to 8-0 in regular season matches. North has only lost one set all year, in its 3-1 victory over CK, a team it had not beaten in six years.

The Buccaneers, whose only win this season came Sept. 24 at Klahowya, gave the Vikings a tough battle in the first set, despite making five serving errors and being called for a rotation penalty that cost them a possession. Several times during the first two sets, Kingston grabbed a lead or came from behind to tie the score.

“Tonight, we showed that we have the charisma that we need to compete,” Kingston Head Coach Lacey Menne said.

Kingston’s biggest comeback came in the second set, after falling behind 10-5. The Bucs fought back to tie the score at 15, but thanks to strong serving and smart play by North, the Vikings went on a 10-1 run to win the set.

In the third set, the Vikings took a 7-1 lead behind Bohl’s serving. The Bucs managed to climb back within five points of the Vikings, but soon North pulled away again. With a 19-8 lead, Bohl came up to serve again and the Vikings scored six straight points to end the match.

“When she gets going, she’s pretty tough,” French said.

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