The Skyview and Soldotna volleyball teams ended up amongst the best in the state after a whirlwind of volleyball Friday and Saturday in the Service/Dimond Volleyball Invitational.
Skyview finished fifth in the 23-team tournament and the Stars finished sixth. The Panthers earned the fifth-place finish by topping the Stars 25-12 and 25-13 in the fifth-place match.
For Saturday, teams were placed in playoff pools based on their results in two-game, round-robin sets Friday.
Both Skyview and Soldotna ended up in one of the two Gold Pools Saturday. Soldotna earned a spot in Gold Pool B by compiling a 4-2 record Friday. The Stars beat Nome 15-8 and 15-7, split with Dimond 15-13 and 10-15 and split with Heritage 15-9 and 8-15.
Saturday, Skyview finished 2-4 in Gold Pool A to get thrown into the fifth-place bracket. In Gold Pool A, the Panthers split with Dimond 15-9 and 15-17, split with West Valley 15-5 and 12-15 and lost to Service 15-12 and 15-6.
Meanwhile, Soldotna finished 3-3 in Gold Pool B to make the fifth-place bracket. The Stars lost to Bartlett 15-10 and 15-13, beat Colony 15-4 and 15-7 and split with Juneau-Douglas 7-15 and 15-7.
The defeat of Juneau-Douglas was huge, because the Crimson Bears are undefeated in the regular season this year.
In the fifth-place semifinals, Skyview defeated Colony 25-14 and 25-13 and Soldotna defeated West Valley 25-23 and 25-15. That set up the fifth-place showdown.
"My girls did a great job the whole tournament," Soldotna coach Pako Whannell said. "They didn't play very well against Skyview, though. We have a lot of stuff to work on with them."
Hillary Zobeck made the all-tournament team for Soldotna.
Also from the peninsula, Homer and Seward played in the Silver Pool Saturday while Kenai and Nikiski played in the Bronze Pool.
Both Homer and Seward advanced to consolation match finals in various pools. Homer beat Valdez for silver, while Lathrop won bronze by defeating Seward.
Heritage Christian 3, Nikiski 1
The Eagles defeated the Bulldogs in four games in a District 3/3A match Thursday in Anchorage.
Heritage won the first two games 15-7, 15-11 before the Bulldogs were able to notch a 15-13 win in the third game. Heritage finished off the match with a 15-8 win in game four.
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