Kingston junior Ava McCabe (7) puts down one of her 14 kills as Klahowya’s Chloe Settle (26) and Kindra Fuller (7) attempt to make the block. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kingston tops Klahowya in five-set thriller | Girls Volleyball

The Bucs overcame three separate deficits in set four to take the match.

SILVERDALE — Down two games to one on the road against Klahowya on Sept. 19, the Buccaneers were on the path toward a tough loss.

The team had struggled through parts of the match, especially in dealing with the Eagles’ pinpoint service, which had kept them off-balance early on.

But Kingston (3-3) mustered one final rally in the fourth set, sparked by a teriffic kill from freshman Morgan Halady to break a 19-all deadlock, and two subsequent blocks that turned the set in its favor. From there, the Bucs went on to win the five-set thriller, 19-25, 25-14, 27-29, 25-19, 15-13.

“We clawed out of an ugly hole that we dug for ourselves tonight, and that’s a good thing,” said Kingston head coach Ed Call, who said his team otherwise struggled through the match.

Led by junior Ava McCabe and her 14 kills, Kingston overcame a few letdowns through sheer grit and determination — as well as some timely big plays.

The Bucs held a 23-14 advantage late in Set 3, looking as if they had finally rounded into form after dominating the second game. A close spike from Klahowya’s Chloe Settle was ruled in, and Call appeared to disagree. The point was the first of an 11-1 run which saw the Eagles tie the set at 24. The game see-sawed from there as the teams went point-for-point before junior Katrien Lont closed the set with an ace.

“We’re a young team and we’re going to continue to get better,” said Klahowya head coach Wendy Kraft. “To play a five-setter against a team like Kingston is not necessarily what we were expecting tonight.”

With the momentum on their side, the Eagles jumped out to a 7-3 lead in Set 4. Kingston rallied back thanks to consecutive aces by senior Natalie Barringer-Mullins, but Klahowya once more took a four-point lead, forcing the Buccaneers to close the gap once more.

In the winner-take-all Set 5, Kingston took an 8-7 lead on another kill from Halady and pushed their lead further on a pair of aces by McCabe. Klahowya threatened to send the final set into volleyball’s version of overtime with a kill by Lont that made the score 14-13, but on the ensuing serve, the last of senior setter Cece Mercado’s 45 assists went to McCabe, who finished the match with a kill.

In contrast with past games, Klahowya’s serving was one of its strengths as the Eagles tallied 15 aces in the match, led by six from Settle and four from junior Taylor Bruce. The young squad also committed very few service errors, which Kraft said has been an issue so far this season.

“Service was outstanding, and in games we have lost, we had at least five missed serves,” said Kraft. “You take those points away and it’s a different game. So we have to be more consistent with our serving — we need to cut those service errors out.”

The Eagles’ hot hitting kept the Kingston defense on its toes. Senior libeiro Ryley Tellinghuisen finished with a match-high with 26 digs, and Mercado picked up another 15.

“I think we had to play very scrappy as a team,” said McCabe. “We definitely could have been more in-system, but overall we played unified and together.”

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpub

More in Sports

Ethan Fox, one of Kingston’s two swimmers with Ironmen status, competes in the 200 individual medley during a dual meet with Olympic. The Bucs won 106.5-69.5. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Kingston’s Ironmen lead Bucs past Olympic

Two top Olympic League swim teams went toe-to-toe

Olympic’s Greg Brehmer (24) goes up for a basket as North Kitsap’s Shaa Humphrey (23) tries to block it. Brehmer scored ten points for the Trojans and was one of many players who stepped up in the 55-50 victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Trojans take down North Kitsap in Olympic League bout, 55-50

The loss drops North Kitsap into a tie for first place with Port Angeles

<em>Kingston’s Sierra Denning (20) tries to muscle past Olivia Selembo and Katie Hughes (24) of North Kitsap on Jan. 9. The Vikings won the game 50-40. 					 </em>Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group
North Kitsap prevails over rival Kingston, 50-40

Olivia Selembo scores 15 points for North Kitsap in her first full game of the season

<em>Logan Chmielewski of North Kitsap goes up for a shot against Jai Poole (1) and Alex Bing (2) of Franklin Pierce in the team’s 71-43 victory on Jan. 6. 	 </em>Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group
North Kitsap on a roll headed toward Olympic rematch

Vikings have won three straight games since participating in the UVIC Tournament in Canada during the holidays

11-year-old Mya Wiley is a Level 9 gymnast at the Olympic Gymnastics Center in Silverdale. She is part a small, elite group of gymnasts that is headed to a national camp in Texas. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
11-year-old gymnast has Olympic goals

Invited to U.S. national team’s A camp in Texas

<em>Central Kitsap senior Olivia Krog had 15 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in a 59-48 loss against Yelm on Jan. 9.</em>
                                Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group
Central Kitsap finds improvement in tough South Sound Conference

Cougars are progressing slowly, but surely

South Kitsap junior forward Emma Erickson (25) puts up a shot over the Puyallup defense during the Wolves’ 52-44 win on Jan. 5. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Standridge’s late heroics lead South Kitsap past Puyallup

The senior guard scored 20 points in a 52-44 win.

Area teams get back to league games | Sports Roundup

Recaps of the first league games since the holiday break and a look ahead at tonight’s games.

<em>Kingston junior Michael Vallejo attempts a jumper over several Sequim defenders in his team’s 53-38 loss on Jan. 4.</em>
                                Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group
Sequim swarms Kingston in 53-38 loss

Kobee Hunt led Kingston with 16 points

Most Read