Three games, nine sets, all of them have gone Bainbridge’s way.
The Spartans have an experienced group of spikers hoping to have a big year, and through three matches all is going according to plan.
Bainbridge’s latest triumph was a 25-17, 25-13, 25-15 straight-set victory Thursday at home over a scrappy Kingston squad.
“Our core players stayed the same, and they only got stronger,” Bainbridge coach Jen Roman said. “They had that winter season to bond and get used to playing next to each other, which is wonderful to see. They’re having a great time in the gym every day, and they’re all getting along and having fun.”
With a large, rowdy student section cheering them on, the Spartans looked like a vastly improved team. During last spring’s season, BI had a number of new faces and at times looked a out of sorts. The group is much more in sync in all phases of the game this fall.
“We had more confidence, and we’re more comfortable on the court,” senior hitter Isabelle Prentice said. “We’re a family. We’ve played together since we were 13 or 14 and so everyone knows each other. Everyone is comfortable with each other.”
A 6-0 run in set one helped the Spartans to an early lead as Prentice, Scarlett Bos and Rebecca Roman all recorded kills and freshman Holley McFadden picked up another point on a stuff block. They were able to keep Kingston at bay the rest of the way, as their lead in the set never dipped below four points. Senior middle blocker Allie Wildsmith recorded four kills down the stretch.
Bainbridge had to overcome a slow start early in set two as a kill from Kingston’s Nizhoni Price and an ace from Sophia Call gave the Bucs a 5-3 lead. But the Spartans rallied to tie it at eight. Katherine Bouma recorded a pair of mid-set aces to aid the comeback. A kill from Roman, an ace from Wildsmith and a block from Prentice propelled the Spartans from there to a 19-9 lead. Bainbridge got two more kills from Prentice and another from Roman and Bos on theto end that set.
Wildsmith powered her team to a 7-3 lead in set three, but Kingston wasn’t about to go away quietly. A Kylie Sandstrom ace and Kate McCabe kill drew Kingston back to within 9-7. But the Spartans got a late 7-0 run to put the set out of reach. Prentice added another four kills in set three.
Wins over Bremerton, North Mason and now Kingston, Bainbridge is looking to prove that it can compete with anyone in the Olympic League. The Spartans have a pair of away games at Sequim and Port Angeles before closing the month of September with matches against Olympic and perennial league champion North Kitsap.
“We’re looking forward to North Kitsap,” Roman said. “I think that will be our big one. We know they are going to be top competition.”