Kodiak, Palmer and Colony qualified for the Class 4A state volleyball tournament at the Northern Lights Conference tournament Saturday at Soldotna High School.
Kodiak came back to win the championship Saturday. The Bears had fallen to Palmer 21-25, 24-26, 25-21, 25-15 and 15-13 in the championship bracket on Friday.
Kodiak made its way back through the losers’ bracket in the double-elimination tournament, topping Colony 25-14, 25-17 and 25-12 on Saturday. The Bears then beat the Moose 25-21, 25-16, 21-25 and 25-22, then won the title with a 30-22 victory in the “if necessary tiebreaker.”
On Friday, Wasilla stunned the home crowd at Soldotna High School by rallying back after a two-game deficit to win its way into the next round of the losers’ bracket and end Soldotna’s season early with a 3-2 match victory.
Soldotna took control early with game wins of 25-15 and 25-17, but then lost three in a row with scores of 25-23, 25-11 and lost the crucial game five 15-8.
Earlier in the day, the Colony Knights swept Kenai Central to move on in the loser’s bracket, ending Kenai’s season on the spot with games of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-14.
“We probably peaked last Friday, just a little too soon,” said Kenai coach Tracie Beck. “I think we played better today than Thursday, but all the teams in our region are just solid teams.”
Freshman Abby Beck led the Kenai effort with 18 digs, nine assists, and three kills. Junior Kiana Harding added five kills and a stuff block, and junior Heidi Perkins provided 13 digs. Kenai had no aces in any of the games.
Coach Beck said she was glad to see the improvement the team made throughout the season, and that the seniors on the team will be missed.
“I felt like we had a ton of growth,” she said.
Later Friday, Colony topped Wasilla to move into the match with Kodiak.
Coach of the Year — Amy Willis, Kodiak.
Player of Year — Hannah Wandersee, Kodiak.
First team — Cassidy Giese, Palmer; Summer McKechnie, Kodiak; Justice English, Kenai; Katelynn Kerkvliet, Soldotna; Elliot Perkins, Palmer; Ashley Turcotte, Colony; Megan Pyles, Kodiak; Julie Litchfield, Soldotna; Macey Buresh, Palmer.
Second team — Ashlyn Dorn, Wasilla; Chelsea Friesen, Colony; Mariah McNamara, Palmer; Amber Sizemore, Wasilla; Makayla Wong, Soldotna; Isabelle Riina, Kodiak; Aimee Bushnell, Wasilla; Carissa Cannon, Kodiak.
Good sport team — Brooke Nezaticky, Colony; Falon McGahan, Kenai; Erica Rodas, Kodiak; Malena Showalter, Palmer; Katelyn Earll, Soldotna; Aimee Bushnell, Wasilla.