Lillian Pruden puts a shot past the Kingston blockers during North Kitsap’s final volleyball match of the season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Lillian Pruden puts a shot past the Kingston blockers during North Kitsap’s final volleyball match of the season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

NK spikes Kingston in battle of top teams

North Kitsap and Kingston finished first in their respective Olympic League divisions, so it seemed only natural for the season to end with the two inter-district rivals going head-to-head.

The Saturday evening match saw the Vikings walk away with a 3-0 victory over the Bucs. The first two sets were closely contested with North Kitsap taking them 25-16 and 25-18; but the Vikings dominated the finale set, 25-9, with a tidal wave of strong serving, hitting and defense.

“To end like that, that last game in particular, was everything that we had hoped it to be,” NK coach Kaelea Makaiwi said.

Perhaps still feeling the sting of last week’s loss to Central Kitsap, their only defeat of the season, the Vikings looked as sharp as ever on their home court.

Riley Rabedeaux had four early kills, including one that broke a 3-3 deadlock in set one. Lillian Pruden also had a kill in a run that gave North Kitsap a 9-4 lead. Later, a Rabedeaux ace sent her team off on another long run that included three kills from Ellyssa Fultz and one each from Pruden, Rabedeaux and Maddie Pryde. When the dust cleared, the score was 18-9.

Kingston started a slow comeback with Suzanne Skinner and Kate McCabe picking up kills, followed by a pair of aces from Olivia Call. But Rabedeaux turned the tide with two more kills and NK took the set.

“I was not going to have that happen again, definitely,” Rabedeaux said.

Marion Stejer and Morgan Halady led Kingston to an early lead in set two, each picking up a kill and a block. Stejer’s second kill of the set gave the Bucs a 6-3 lead, but Rabedeaux and Marin Bruce each scored a kill to tie the match at 6. The teams went back and forth for much of the set until Rabedeaux picked up a big kill to start a 5-0 run that gave the Vikings a 20-15 lead. Bruce had a block and a kill during that run, and Emma Stephens recorded an ace.

Late in the set, Rabedeaux scored another of her five aces and setter Sophia Baugh closed it out with a well-timed, surprise hit over the net that landed clean on the floor.

The Vikings never let Kingston get any momentum in the third set. A 2-2 score quickly turned into 10-2 thanks to kills from Rabedeaux and Pryde. Mary Allen added two more kills, and Rabedeaux picked up her final two aces as NK cruised to victory.

Two special seniors

Two of the West Sound’s top players over the past four years — North Kitsap’s Rabedeaux and Kingston’s Halady – played their final prep games.

Rabedeaux will head to the Mountain West to plays for Adams State University in Colorado, a Division-II school in the Rocky Mountain Conference. The 5-foot-10-inch senior was a constant presence at her opposite hitter position, a strong spiker with a blend of power and precision.

A four-year starter, she recorded 231 kills as a freshman and improved to 437 in her sophomore year and 400 her junior year. Rabedeaux was also a fierce defensive player with 407 digs as a sophomore and 468 as a junior. Her teams made to three 2A state tournaments and captured a West Central District 3 championship in 2017.

“I think I’m ready,” Rabedeaux said. “It’s been a really great four years, and I’m grateful for that. But I’m ready to move on and go play a whole new level of volleyball.”

Over the past several years, Kingston has rarely lost to teams not named North Kitsap, and Halady has been a big part of that success. Also a four-year varsity player, Halady has been the program’s — and the league’s — premier middle blocker, who uses her commanding 6-foot-1 frame and jumping ability to get in front of any offensive player’s shot.

Halady said she’s still in the recruitment process, which has fluctuated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she had been looking at schools in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference as well as some smaller Division 1 schools.

Halady had 265 kills her sophomore year to go along with 43 blocks. As a junior, she had 265 kills and 60 blocks as well as 30.9 hitting percentage. Kingston qualified for state twice in her career and fell just one game short of a third appearance in 2019.

“Just being able to play on the varsity level for four years has been an amazing process,” Halady said, “and I’ve been able to play with a lot of amazing girls and take different things from each of the girls I’ve played with. Each season, I’ve been grateful that I’ve been able to bring something to the table, and that’s what I focus on as a player, doing as much as I can for my team.”

Kingston’s Marion Stejer tries to put a shot past North Kitsap’s Maddie Pryde (11). (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kingston’s Marion Stejer tries to put a shot past North Kitsap’s Maddie Pryde (11). (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kingston’s Nizhoni Price tries to get in the way of Riley Rabedeaux’s spike. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kingston’s Nizhoni Price tries to get in the way of Riley Rabedeaux’s spike. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

More in Sports

Makayla Stockman winds up to pitch for the Vikings. Steve Powell/File Photos
NK girls make it to state the hard way

Competitions took place last weekend to see who would advance to the… Continue reading

Senior catcher Colton Bower was a big reason for NK’s success this season. He will be on scholarship to play for Washington State University next year.
NK baseball stunned in 1st round at state

North Kitsap’s baseball team won over 20 games and only lost a… Continue reading

Pitcher Noah Sorensen moved the ball around and struck out a number of Pirates.
NK wins district title, on to state

Kingston wins 1 before being eliminated

The free fishing derby put on by the Lions Club is Saturday in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Free fishing derby Saturday in Poulsbo

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club is hosting a “Hooked on Fish Derby”… Continue reading

Colton Bower of NK dives safely back to first base after hitting a single in the first inning. Zach Duffy of BHS applies the tag. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald
NK falls to league-leading Bainbridge

You can bet the North Kitsap Viking outfielders are going to be… Continue reading

.
NK baseball team keeps winning

North Kitsap The Vikings beat Columbia River in baseball 10-7 and Ridegefield… Continue reading

Kingston goalie Carter Krantz jumps up to make a save under crowded conditions against Olympic. Krantz and the Bucs shut out the visitors 1-0. Krantz’s booming kicks also were a powerful offensive weapon for the Bucs, keeping Olympic on the defensive side of the field. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston’s defense blanks Olympic in soccer

Kingston has a strong defense, and it needed every bit of it… Continue reading

Kaden Schaefer of Kingston signs a letter of intent to play college soccer, while brother Zander, 5, looks on with admiration. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Buc scores college soccer scholarship

Once Kaden Schaefer got to high school, he started to think maybe… Continue reading

Ian ‘J.R.’ Ritche
Outdoor prep sports spring into action

The Bainbridge Spartan baseball team returns one of the top pitchers in… Continue reading

Owen Scheer tees off for Bainbridge in a match at Kingston. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review Photos
BI, Kingston split golf matches

Bainbridge In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Viet Tran of Kingston follows through on his second shot after missing the numerous sand trips off the tee on Hole 1 at White Horse Golf Club. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston splits golf matches against Bainbridge

Kingston In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Junior captain Elise Walters was the medalist for Bainbridge in the match against Sequim. Lucy Rector/Courtesy Photos
Defending champs start year with win over Sequim

The Olympic League defending champion Spartans started off the season last week… Continue reading