KINGSTON — The Bucs are serving and spiking their way to another successful season.
Kingston took on Bremerton at home Tuesday evening and came away with its fourth consecutive victory in four sets, 25-11, 25-11, 24-26, 25-18, giving them a 3-1 league record (4-2 overall).
Head coach Ed Call said the wins haven’t been pretty yet, but despite having some new faces on varsity and returners in new positions, the Bucs have displayed good on-court cohesion and chemistry.
“For us to have four wins and two losses right now, I like where we’re at,” Call said.
Hitters Ava McCabe and Sam Young still serve as the team’s main outside threats, but they have two new teammates teeing up their spikes. Melanie Borson, who played middle blocker last season, has moved to setter, and last year’s junior varsity setter Grayce Hentzel.
“Both of these girls have really stepped up,” Call said. “Melanie is a converted middle and Grayce is a converted middle or outside. Grayce set all last year on our JV team, but this is her first go at the varsity level. They’re doing a great job.”
Against Bremerton, McCabe had seven kills and three aces, Morgan Halady had six kills and Borson recorded 21 assists. The offense wasn’t in top form, the team hit about eight percent, but were able to pick up points in the other facets of the game.
Rugged defense helped carry the day. Young and Hentzel had 13 and 11 digs respectively as the Bucs had their hands full with talented Knights such as hitter Lily Gelhaus.
“We need to be more precise with every touch of the ball,” McCabe said. “We’re getting a little sloppy, we need to rein that in a little bit.”
Kingston won the first two sets with relative ease, allowing Call to insert some younger players into the lineup for set three. Kaylyn Mazeika and Marina Salas opened with back-to-back kills, but momentum swung back and forth several times.
“If we want to be any good later in the season, we have to get those girls some game reps,” Call said.
Despite a 24-21 Bucs lead, the Knights responded with five consecutive points. Patricia Reyes and Tyishea McWhorter each picked up a couple of points in the set.
Bremerton kept things close in set four on the strength of three consecutive aces from Gelhaus — at one point the two teams were tied at 16 — but the Bucs soon resumed control and Halady closed out the match with a pair of kills.
Kingston will participate this weekend at the TPCVOB invitational in Tacoma, which should further prepare the team for the remainder of its league schedule. The Bucs have a big home match on Sept. 27 against Sequim.