Bremerton volleyball eclipses entire win total from 2008
By WESLEY REMMER
Bremerton Patriot Sports writer
October 15, 2009 · Updated 2:58 PM
With the regular-season finale 11 days out, the Bremerton volleyball team has already eclipsed its win total from last season.
BHS, which managed three wins in 2008 to finish second-to-last in the Olympic League, moved to .500 in league play with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-21) win over North Mason at home Tuesday.
It was the fourth win in five tries for the Lady Knights (4-7, 4-4), who are guaranteed to finish with their best league record since 2006-07 when they were 4-10.
“We are hitting a really good stride,” said first-year coach Beth Donnelly. “We’ve come a long way over the past two weeks.”
Penny Bell, a senior who spent the majority of last season on the bench, led the way Tuesday with nine digs and six kills while going 4 for 4 on service-receive opportunities.
Donnelly called Bell the team’s “most consistent player,” saying she is a creator and a distributor who sets up opportunities for her teammates while providing stability on defense.
“Nobody knows who she is or where she came from because she didn’t play last season,” Donnelly said, referring to the fact Bell had few live-game opportunities in 2008. “She has the best ball control on our team.”
After stumbling to an 0-6 start — three of the losses were against Class 4A schools, including both Central Kitsap and South Kitsap — BHS has steadily climbed the standings, moving into fifth place.
The team’s only loss since Sept. 29 was a 3-0 setback to Sequim last week, although those victories came against opponents with a combined record of 6-26 through Wednesday. BHS faced Port Angeles (8-3, 5-3) yesterday with a chance to move into a tie four fourth.
“It’s really good to see the girls on the other end of it,” Donnelly said of winning. “We’re slowly getting there.”
But the road to the finish is steep; the Lady Knights conclude the season with matches against Olympic (Oct. 20) and North Kitsap (Oct. 27), the top two teams in the Olympic League.
BHS lost to the Trojans 3-1 Sept. 22 and NK 3-0 Sept. 24.
“I would much rather be in the underdog role and pull out a win we’re not expected to,” Donnelly said. “Now is the time to show everyone what we’re capable of ... The sky is the limit right now.”
Donnelly said two of the team’s preseason goals were to win at least four games and beat a team it hadn’t beat in a “long time.” It accomplished both those feats Tuesday in beating NM, a team to which the Lady Knights had lost each of the past four seasons.
“None of our seniors had ever beat North Mason,” Donnelly said.
The Bremerton girls soccer team won its third game in four tries with an 8-0 win against North Mason at Bremerton Memorial Stadium on Tuesday.
Angelique White and Abby Neil scored two goals apiece to lead the Lady Knights (4-6-0 overall, 3-5-0 league). They scored 18 goals over the past three games entering yesterday’s contest against Port Angeles, from which results were unavailable at press time.
BHS needed to beat PA (6-4-1, 4-3-1) to stay alive in the race for the third and final Class 3A playoff spot out of the combined 3A/2A Olympic League. North Kitsap (8-1-2, 7-0-1) and Olympic (8-2-2, 6-0-2) are in position to secure the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, while PA and Bremerton are vying for No. 3.
The team faces Olympic at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and wraps up the regular season at home against NK at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 27.
The Knights’ losing streak is at five games thanks to a 42-8 setback against the North Thurston Rams Oct. 8.
Billy Davenport threw five interceptions against the Rams, managing 116 yards and a touchdown through the air. Running back Kyle Kennedy tallied 114 yards on the ground on 17 carries, but it wasn’t nearly enough to combat NT’s Lawrence Tillman, who rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone.
BHS (1-5, 0-4) hosts North Kitsap at 7 p.m. today.Contact Bremerton Patriot Sports writer Wesley Remmer at email@example.com or (360) 308-9161.