NK handles scrappy Kingston

North Kitsap battled back against a scrappy Kingston squad for a 3-0 sweep in volleyball Sept. 19.

The Bucs took the early lead in all three sets, but the Vikings came back in each one, winning the match 25-19, 25-20 and 25-18.

“Trailing and fighting back is a lot better than where we started,” NK coach Kaelea Makaiwi said. “I finally have the whole squad tonight, and we are figuring out who can do what.”

The Buccaneers struck early with a 6-3 lead in the first set thanks to their back-row play. “I see us being relentlessly scrappy on defense,” Kingston coach Chris Eaton said. “It is something we get credit from a lot of teams. We will go after every ball and try to put pressure on their side.”

Quiterie Lemieux and Brooke Steele dug and set the Bucs into the early lead. However, the Vikings took over halfway through with a scoring display from Viking Teegan DeVries. Even though Kingston tied it late, NK strung a late run to finish Kingston.

Then Kingston took a 4-1 lead in the second set. NK continued to trail by a couple of points until Coriana McMillian scored an ace to tie the set 16-16. Afterward, Iliana Brockett’s rocket arm dominated the net as NK pulled out the set win.

Kingston took another early lead in the third set because of its powerful outside hitters. “We have multiple hitters that can burn a hole through the floor,” Eaton said.”Lucy [Patricio} is hard to defend, and Quiterie can rip a ball.”

NK’s defense held strong to spark the comeback. “We gave our hitters some more rest so they don’t have as much work in the back,” Mak said. “It’s like splitting two people in half so we are trying to find the strongest group.”

When Mak put the hitters back into the game, NK took over the final set. Ireland Burdick sealed the victory with a pair of kills down the middle to end the set. “It’s harder to come back and work so I’m proud of them,” Mak said.

Eaton added: “We fought pretty hard, scrambled on defense and put a lot of pressure on them. We are on our way and just got to tune some things before the next fight.”

North Kitsap’s Iliana Brockett battles at the net with Kingston’s Elise Dawson.

North Kitsap’s Iliana Brockett battles at the net with Kingston’s Elise Dawson.