Homer’s volleyball game against Seward High School on Saturday remained true to the name of the game, as the set wins went back and forth between the teams resulting in a fifth match in which Homer came out on top.
The win advanced the Lady Mariners to 3-1 in the Southcentral Conference and 11-8 overall this season.
The Lady Mariners started off strong, beating the Seahawks soundly in a 25-12 set, but Seward came back with a 25-10 victory. Seward went on to win the third set in a close 25-21, before Homer rallied with a 25-17 win, which forced the competition info a fifth set.
In the event that a game goes into a fifth set, that match is only played to 15 points. Homer came out victorious, winning 15-12.
“We keep getting into this habit of either winning the first or the second one, and then letting them beat us,” said coach Sara Pennington.” And it’s not just Seward, it’s other teams that we’re going to five (sets) with. I just keep telling them it comes down to your mental game. If you want to win it, you will win it.”
Pennington said the players improved mentally after their second set loss.
“They were just definitely more positive and encouraging and up and hype about it,” she said. “So I’m definitely glad we got that one.”
The Mariners had lost to Seward during the Homer Jamboree at the start of the season, but then went on to beat them for third place in the event.
“They’re a really good team,” Pennington said. “All of these teams in the region I feel like we go neck and neck with, it’s just whoever’s mentally strong that day, you know, whoever wants it more is who’s going to win because all these teams are very talented.”
Pennington said success for her team meant finding the rotation that worked the best, which took a while to figure out.
“I think we’re finally starting to get used to this one,” she said. “I think they’re just finally getting used to, you know, just playing next to who they’re playing next to, and trusting who’s behind you and who’s in front of you.”
Kelli Bishop and Karmyn Gallios led the team in scoring with nine kills each. Marina Carroll and Tonda Smude each contributed four kills as well, and Brianna Hetrick had two herself.
Hetrick notched 21 assisted, 13 kills and four aces; Bishop helped out with 11 digs, Gallios contributed 14 digs, a block and an ace; Carroll had nine digs, two blocks and an ace; Smude came up with three blocks and a dig; and Laura Inama had two assists, five digs and three aces.
The next home game for the Lady Mariners is this Friday when they’ll face off against Redington High School.
The C Team plays in the Alice Witte Gymnasium at 4 p.m., JV plays at 5 p.m. and the varsity girls start at 6:30 p.m.
Then on Saturday, Homer will also host Houston High School at 11 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m.