After losing to powerhouse North Kitsap in its first match, the Bainbridge High School volleyball team bounced back nicely Thursday, taking down South Kitsap in three sets.
With a little more practice time, the Spartans were smoother on offense, more tenacious on defense and played with confidence during tight moments in each set.
The Wolves stayed close in all three sets, but the visitors prevailed 25-17, 25-18, 25-17.
“We had a lot more energy,” Spartans junior hitter Isabelle Prentice said. “We were a little nervous from losing our last game, but we came back and gave it our all, and I think we did amazing.”
Prentice catalyzed the offense with a powerful right-handed stroke, racking up kills by consistently spotting the soft spots in the opposing defense.
“She’s one of the players the offense is focused around, and that’s for good reason,” Bainbridge coach Jen Roman said.
The Spartans jumped out to a 21-12 lead in set one, but South Kitsap battled back. Areeza Amian, better known for her exploits on the basketball court, picked up two of her team-leading eight kills over a run that put the Wolves within striking distance. But with Prentice on serve following a service error, she picked up an ace to close out the set.
The two teams went back and forth in set two.
South Kitsap received a pair of points from freshman Kamdyn Hagerty early to tie the score at 7-7. The 6-foot-1 middle blocker had never played volleyball before, but looked like a natural at the net.
Another block from South Kitsap’s Ella Horton helped propel the Wolves into the lead, but Bainbridge answered with a stuff-block from Allie Wildsmith, which retied the set at 9-9.
The seesaw battle waged on as Bainbridge sophomore Rebecca Roman picked up an ace to give her team a 13-11 lead, but after a pair of kills from Amian the set was back to 15-15. Anna Harvey, who finished the night with five kills, pulled South Kitsap within 18-17, but then the Spartans went on a 7-1 run to put set two away.
Bainbridge received another two kills from Prentice and one from Mazzy Thornton as they wore down the Wolves at the end of a set that featured several long rallies. “Our hitters are finding their stride with our setters and getting that nice connection,” Roman said.
Ashlyn Potz helped South Kitsap out to an early 6-1 lead in set three with an ace. Wildsmith and Lauren de Gall each picked up kills as part of a 5-0 run that tied what turned out to be the final set at 6-6.
The Spartans were on the winning end of the last major rally, and they used that momentum to go on 15-4 run that featured a pair of aces from Wildsmith and kills from Aidyn Goldsberry and Katherine Bouma.
The Spartans were able to finish off the match, and, fittingly, it was Prentice’s two final spikes that gave her team the victory in set three.
The win was a step in the right direction as Bainbridge heads toward a Tuesday evening matchup back at Paski Gym against Central Kitsap.