Spikers salvage Knight split

"It was a Knight to remember for the Bainbridge Spartan volleyball squad - but definitely an evening to forget for visiting Bremerton.As guitars played in a homecoming rally in the courtyard outside the gymnasium, the Spartans pounded the Knights Thursday, 15-4, 15-5, 15-13.I thought we did OK, Bainbridge coach Julie Miller said after the win. With it being homecoming week and all the noise outside, we had some focus problems in the third game.Ironically, each game started out with the visiting Bremerton girls putting the first points on the board, 1-0. In the first game, the Knights didn't see another point register on the board until the Bainbridge girls had tallied a 5-1 lead. Some strong serves from the Bremerton side brought the Knights to within two at 5-3 - but it was the closest the visitors would come to the girls in blue and gold.Game two was a rewind of game one. Bremerton took a quick lead, but Bainbridge got back on track and slowly moved away from the Knights. Caiti Kruse led a Spartan run near the end, serving to five straight points, giving Bainbridge a 14-5 lead. After a sideout, Ashley Pyles brought the serve back to the Spartan side with a kill splitting the Bremerton defense. Pyles then served for the game winner.Scrapping from the do-or-die position in the best-of-five match, Bremerton stormed back in the third game to jump out to a 9-5 lead. Not one to give up so easily, Bainbridge took momentum away from the Knights with a timeout and some extra hustle on the hardwood and knotted the score at 9-9.The two squads traded points and sideouts, with Bainbridge sophomore Laura Bartunek bringing the score even at 13-13 with a blistering hit into the Bremerton side. Middle hitter Bartunek put the Spartans to game point with another kill. A service winner gave Bainbridge the game and match.Michelle Purdom led Bainbridge with seven kills for the evening, while Bartunek had six. Also, Kruse provided nine assists and Gretchen Gaither fired three service aces.Tuesday evening, Bainbridge traveled up on the Olympic Peninsula for a battle against the always-tough Sequim Wolves. Sequim showed why it is always a league favorite with a 15-13, 15-10, 15-4 victory over the visiting Spartans.Miller said the Bainbridge girls played well the first two games against a quick Sequim offense. The third game, however, was all Sequim.We couldn't put a string of things together (offensively), Miller said. The coach said the team was down, health-wise, for the game with Sarah Frazee slowed with mononucleosis. Also, Michelle Purdom had been out the day before with an illness.In the contest for the Spartans, Kristina Purdom and Michelle Purdom each contributed four kills and Carlie Miller had four service aces.Bainbridge will be at Port Angeles Tuesday evening. It'll be more two weeks until the team's next home contest - Oct. 17, to be exact. "

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