Homer tallied two more losses facing off against SoHi and Kenai last week.
The host Soldotna volleyball team defeated Homer 25-15, 32-30 and 25-14 on Thursday in nonconference action. Soldotna had just defeated Homer 3-2 on Friday, Sept. 1 in Homer. The Stars improve to 3-2 overall.
The visiting Kenai Central volleyball team defeated Homer 25-19, 25-17 and 25-22 on Saturday in Southcentral Conference action. The Kardinals improved to 4-1 in nontournament play and 3-0 in the league, while Homer dropped to 0-3 and 0-6 respectively.
Soldotna 3, Homer 0
Thursday’s match showed just how delicate the balance in volleyball is between serving too aggressively and not aggressively enough.
“Their serving was phenomenal today,” Homer head coach Ian Overson said of the Stars. “It was dropping out of the air and hitting the ground. It was very good serving on their part. My girls were touching the ball, they just couldn’t touch it in the right way.”
Soldotna head coach Luke Baumer had a different read on his team’s service game.
“Our serving, we struggled with that all match,” Baumer said. “We had a hard time getting our serves to be over and in. We want to be aggressive in our service, but at the same time, we don’t want to start serving so aggressively that we’re making mistakes.”
Baumer said the team missed 17 serves in three games, which is too many. The team missed 19 serves in the five games at Homer on Sept. 1.
At the same time, Baumer said the big difference between Friday’s match in Homer and Thursday’s home match was that Homer struggled to get into its attack on Thursday. Overson agreed that his team’s struggles with passing was a decisive factor in the match.
“The tougher you serve, the more mistakes you’re going to make,” Baumer said. “And we understand that. But we should be hitting a number that’s a little bit less than 17.”
Gracie Miotke had six kills for the Mariners, while Channing Lowney had five kills, and Rebecca Trowbridge had two aces and 11 assists.
The highlight of the match was Game 2, where Homer had three game points and Soldotna won by cashing in on its fifth game point of the game. Soldotna’s Hallie Fischer finished off the game with a stuff block.
Kenai 3, Homer 0
Saturday’s match during homecoming weekend, though resulting in another loss for Homer, showed the Lady Mariners’ spirit as they played on their home turf.
Head coach Ian Overson called the Kards a “powerhouse” team, but said that Homer held their own.
“They handled playing Kenai with more tenacity than last time,” he told Homer News on Monday. “I told the girls it was quite a pleasure to watch the whole game — they never gave up, they just kept going and going.”
Kenai started the match with a rapid succession of points scored, but Homer quickly got into their groove and made the Kards work for it the rest of the game. Tension was high in the stands as both teams remained neck-and-neck on the scoreboards for the final two sets.
“They fought back hard for a couple sets,” Overson said.
He noted in a text message Sunday that the team had “great hitting performances” on Saturday, with Channing Lowney getting 13 kills and Alexandra Casey having six.
Auden Cress “stepped up serving” with four aces.
The Lady Mariners travel to Seward on Friday for conference play.