The Nikolaevsk volleyball team nabbed fourth place Saturday in the Mix Six State Championship at Dimond High School in Anchorage by sweeping Napaaqtugmiut.
The scores in the fourth-place match were 25-22, 25-17 and 25-16. Earlier Saturday, the Warriors had advanced to the fourth-place match by topping Unalakleet 25-19, 16-25, 25-20 and 25-16.
Friday, in the first game of bracket play, Nikolaevsk dropped into the fourth-place bracket by losing 21-25, 25-23, 25-23 and 25-21 to Gustavus.
“The kids finished strong and I’m proud of them,” Nikolaevsk coach Bea Klaich said after the squad’s fifth-straight trip to state. “They stepped up and played big. They settled down and played better than yesterday.”
The Warriors have two seniors on the squad, and Klaich credited both with great leadership. The seniors are outside hitter and back-row player Kalenik Molodih and defensive specialist and girls captain Kristin Klaich. Boys captain Michael Trail also had a big tournament at middle blocker.
Klaich said the only thing tough about the tourney was seeing Tikigaq and Gustavus in the championship, because the coach knows how close the Warriors are to those squads. Nikolaevsk beat Tikigaq in pool play at state.
“It was a great season,” Klaich said. “I think the kids had a lot of fun and we’ll continue to be a strong team. We’re looking forward to next year already.”