Early season volleyball news and notes

It can be hard to tell in these first few games just how a team will play out the season, but I had a feeling about South Kitsap. Based on who the Wolves had coming back, good coaching — which they have in C.J. Scott — and unmistakable talent in libero Tia Lawrence South is my dark horse to make the playoffs and could very well — with some luck — make state.

I kind of judge all teams on how well they play against Kitsap’s best team, North Kitsap, and the Wolves beat the Vikings 24-22, 25-20, 23-25, 26-24 in a non-league match Thursday. Now I know SK (2-0) plays in the 4A classification and NK in 2A, but honestly that doesn’t matter considering how good the Vikings (1-1) have been under Tim French.

South Kitsap was down 21-14 in the final game before coming back to win it. Lawrence, an All-Narrows second team nominee last year who had 31 digs, certainly impressed NK’s French.

“There were balls that were normally points for sure (that Lawrence dug),” he said. “It was fun to watch her actually. There was nothing too good for her. Teams where Bri (Duchemin) just crushes it and (Tia’s) like, ‘OK. I got that.’ Their whole team played really good defense.”

High praise indeed.

Also, CK opened South Sound Conference play with a loss to Gig Harbor on Thursday. Game scores were 25-20, 25-17, 25-13. Katie Downey led CK with nine assists, Lily Campbell had 11 digs and Courtney Anderson added five kills.

Upcoming games to watch: Olympic travels to Sequim on Tuesday in an early season duel between two teams that will be contending for the playoffs. … Central Kitsap heads to Yelm for a South Sound Conference match. Familiar opponent in new league, but likely results won’t change as CK should win this one. … Wednesday Bainbridge hosts Ingraham in Metro League play. Good early test for the Spartans. North Kitsap is back in action against Bremerton. The Knights finished second in the OL2A, right behind the Vikings.

Coach Kim Renken's Klahowya Volleyball team returns a core of seniors for the Eagles. They are, from left, Jessica Carlson, Nicole Mills, Ashley Sharp, Madison Jones and joining them for the season is foreign exchange student Sarah Irgen Thorsesen.
Coach Kim Renken’s Klahowya Volleyball team returns a core of seniors for the Eagles. They are, from left, Jessica Carlson, Nicole Mills, Ashley Sharp, Madison Jones and joining them for the season is foreign exchange student Sarah Irgen Thorsesen.

Also, be sure to read our season preview in Wednesday’s edition as I take a look at the two-time Olympic League 1A champion Klahowya Eagles. The previews also includes our team-by-team previews and players to watch.

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