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KINGSBURG - With a spirited student section rooting them on, the Vikings swept the Reedley Pirates 3-0 in a non-league home game on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Kingsburg won 25-16, 25-18, 25-23 to improve its record to 5-6. After an 0-3 start to the season, the Vikings defeated Lemoore 3-0 on Aug. 29 and they went 3-3 at a tournament at Clovis High on Aug. 30-31. On Thursday, Kingsburg dropped its record to 5-7 after a 3-2 loss to Washington Union.

Despite the loss to Washington Union, Vikings middle blocker Oliva Doyle said the team started to mesh together during the Lemoore game and at the Clovis tournament.

“That really helped build our chemistry more and get more playing time together,” Doyle said about the team’s performance in Clovis. “The Lemoore game, we all really meshed and our hits, sets, and everything was on and connected.”

In the game against Reedley, Kingsburg dominated the first and second sets by starting with 7-2 runs in both sets. The Vikings weren’t behind in the first set and were down once in second, which was a 0-1 deficit.

After a 7-2 run in the first set, Kingsburg went up as much as 10 points (20-10) en route to winning the set 25-16. The Vikings kept its same energy going in the second set, having multiple 10 point leads before a 23-18 set victory.

The third set was the one that Kingsburg had to earn. After a 6-6 tie, Reedley took control of the set, going up 20-13, which would be the largest deficit the Vikings had all game. Kingsburg didn’t go away that easy, tying the score 21-21 after an 8-1 run.

After the Pirates took a 23-21 lead, the Vikings tied it up 23-23 and they went on to score the final two points of the set to finish up the sweep.

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During the third set, head coach Brittany Henderson said the group had played on the court showed “growth” and “maturity” by coming back and winning that set.

“I think it tells a lot that ‘Yeah we were down’ and they were able to come out of it,” Henderson said. “That was just a confidence builder.”

Kingsburg entered CSL play against Immanuel on Tuesday (after press time) and for the Vikings to have league success, middle blocker Ally Cotton said the team will need to have consistency every night.

“We have to practice keeping the same level of intensity to every team and not going down and up,” Cotton said. “That’s something we need to have before we go league.”

Last season, the Vikings (25-14 overall in 2018) went 8-4 against CSL opponents with their four losses coming against Exeter and Central Valley Christian. At the Clovis tournament, Kingsburg faced both of those teams, defeating the Monarchs 2-1 and losing 0-2 to the Cavaliers.

“I’m usually not a fan of playing teams in your league before you have to, but I feel like this was a really good thing for us to see them,” Henderson said. “I’m expectating all teams to be tough and for it to be a battle this year.”

“I think anybody could get that No. 1 spot and it’s going to be who just shows up that night and who could be consistent throughout the entire season.”

The Vikings will play its second CSL game of the year against Hanford West (2-3) in a road matchup on Thursday.

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Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at 559-583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com

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