A year after falling short of the state tournament for the first time in nine years, the Nikiski volleyball team rose to the top of Region III/3A again Saturday at Anchorage Christian Schools.
The Bulldogs defeated defending region champion Seward 15-9, 2-15, 20-18 and 15-9 Saturday to make off with the Region III/3A crown for the second time in three years.
Last year, Nikiski was defeated by Heritage Christian in the consolation match of the tournament to snap its state berths streak at eight years in a row.
This year, Nikiski, Seward and Grace Christian all advance to state from Region III/3A. Nikiski and Seward dominated the region all year, with each of their lone region losses coming to their cross-peninsula rivals.
Nikiski advanced to the championship Friday night by defeating defending state champion Grace Christian 15-12, 15-8, 12-15 and 15-13.
In the match for Nikiski, Laura Berdahl put down 10 kills while Ashley Goff had 18 digs and April Lofstedt had nine digs. Berdahl, along with Laura-Beth Covich, were the two Bulldogs to make first team all-district. Jessica Arness and Lofstedt were on the second team, while Goff was on the good sport team.
The Seahawks advanced to the tournament final with a 15-0, 15-7 and 15-6 sweep of Houston Friday. Seward's Erin Carr was named the most valuable player in the district, while Carri Fischer joined Carr on first team all-district. Paula Banic was on the second team for Seward, while Tara DeRuwe made the good sport team.
In the consolation match, Grace earned the chance to defend its state title by taking down Houston 16-14, 2-15, 15-4 and 15-7.
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