Vikings find their mojo on the court

North Kitsap blanked Sequim with a 3-0 sweep in their volleyball match Oct. 17. The Vikings and Wolves came in as the top two teams in the Olympic League.

“They are fired up,” NK coach Kaelea Makaiwi said. “Their energy has been much higher and their confidence is higher because they have played with the same group of 13 or 14. They believe in each other.”

The Vikings started with momentum as they took an early 9-3 lead in the first set. The Wolves tried to sneak back into the set but Ireland Burdick earned a few kills to lead NK to a massive lead. Sequim “has a really good defense,” Burdick said. “But we have finally found ourselves.”

NK led 17-9 before a couple of the younger players stepped up—Silvia Okunami earning a couple of kills and Iliana Brockett firing the final two to win 25-13. “Iliana had one of her best games,” Makaiwi said. “She only missed one hit and two serves. She was passing well, too.”

Sequim fired back in the second set finding holes in the Viking backline defense to take the lead. But the Vikings fought back to make it 13-12. “I may be steering the ship but I love that they never quit,” Makaiwi said. “That chemistry is huge and that is why we have been able to come back in games.”

Burdick added the team’s energy has uplifted, and its confidence has soared because of Makaiwi’s support. “During practice, she coaches us individually so she was teaching me different hits and helped build my confidence,” Burdick said.

Burdick gave the Vikings a late lead before Brockett and Adeline La Tour picked up the final two kills for a 25-21 win in the second set.

The Wolves battled in the final set, but the Vikings pulled away halfway through it, winning 25-17 when La Tour blocked a kill attempt.

“For this group of kids, this one is huge,” Makaiwi said. “Our goal is to keep doing what they’re doing. They want to be league champions.”

Fendi Dowlearn of NK serves the ball to Sequim.

Fendi Dowlearn of NK serves the ball to Sequim.