BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — The Vikings were a bundle of nerves during their first vollyball match of the season against cross-town rivals Bainbridge Tuesday night. And it showed on the scoreboard.
The Spartans swept the Vikings 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-21) Tuesday night at Bainbridge Island High School, handing the Vikings its first loss of the season.
“Bainbridge is a very good team,” said Vikings coach Tim French. “They have lots of height and a solid middle blocker who’s tough to handle.”
French said the overall team speed of Bainbridge startled the Vikings in the opener.
“They played a little faster game than us, but we got better as the match went on,” he said. “It was a challenge and we continued to improve throughout the match from game one to game three. That was very encouraging. We’ll continue to improve, and if we do that we’ll be able to compete.”
The Vikings played without the starting outside hitter Jessica Ouellet Tuesday night.
“She didn’t have enough practices to play,” French said. “She will be back for our next match.”
Players must be involved 10 or more practices to compete.
French said Lindsay Kocker stepped into Ouellet’s outside hitter role, rising to the occasion at the varsity level.
“Lindsay played pretty good for not having played that position at this level before,” he said. “She played strong. I’m proud of her.”
French said his team needs to become more aggressive in all facets of the game, especially at the net.
“We don’t have our timing yet. Against the better teams we have to read things on the court and time everything at the net,” he said. “We need to become more refined, that’s the main thing. We were too tentative and slow to react. The key to (volleyball) is anticipation and aggressiveness.”
French praised Amy Cox (16 assists), Christina Rose (three kills), Lindsay Kocker (four digs), Michelle Lloyd (six digs) and Sara Jo Barrett (13 for 13 serving) for their efforts against Bainbridge.
The Vikings will strive for victory hosting Olympic High School in a non-league contest at 6:30 p.m. this Tuesday in the North Kitsap High School gymnasium.