Vikings volleyball undefeated in season

There may be an appetizing secret to the North Kitsap Vikings’ success this season.

POULSBO — There may be an appetizing secret to the North Kitsap Vikings’ success this season.

As extra incentive to do well, players are rewarded with edible treats, such as ice cream and cookies.

A fried rice meal is even an option if the team gets a certain point spread against an opponent.

Then again, it could just be talent.

For the second time in a row, the North Kitsap Vikings finished the regular season undefeated.

“I knew we would be really competitive,” head coach Tim French said. “We lost some key players [last season] but the program’s in really good shape.

“Players seem ready to step up when it’s their chance.”

The team finished the regular season Oct. 28 with a 3-0 victory over the Kingston Buccaneers in the North Kitsap Gymnasium. It was the sixth conference match in a row that the Vikings didn’t lose a single set.

The Vikings (12-0, 14-0) earned the Olympic League title and No. 1 seed into the Olympic League Tournament. It’s the team’s sixth championship in seven years.

The tournament begins Oct. 30 with Bremerton and North Mason facing off at Bremerton High School.

The Vikings play the winner of Bremerton/North Mason match on Nov. 1 at Sequim High School. Olympic and Sequim play at the same time at Sequim Community School. The winners of those matches play for the No. 1 seed into the district tournament. The losers play for the No. 3 and 4 seeds.

The district tournament begins Nov. 7 at Washington and Franklin Pierce high schools.

Though the Vikings play teams they already defeated this season in the league tournament, French said nothing is to be taken for granted. He expects the competition to have improved this late in the season. Then again, “we have too,” he said.

“Hopefully at this point in the season, everyone is playing at their peak,” French said.

Indeed, because the competition will have to be good against the Viking team that has strong hitters, some of the best setters in the league, and has reached a 94 percent serving completion.

The Vikings haven’t been without their bumps in the road. North Kitsap senior captain and outside hitter Sarah Holt is out with an ankle injury. She was injured during the Capital Tournament, a non-league tournament, on Oct. 18.

Holt was out last season with a similar ankle injury, which also occurred during the Capital Tournament, French said. She returned to the court before the team’s postseason run ended.

French said he does not have an estimated return date for Holt.

Despite one of the team’s captains being out, two other players are filling in. Mekdes Crowley and Megan Cragg have stepped up, and helped the team continue its unbeaten streak, French said.

“They have no other choice,” French said. “The team has set a high standard of play.”