The Seward High School volleyball team bounced back from a difficult opening-round loss, battling to a fourth-place finish in the Alaska School Activities Association State 3A Volleyball Championships.
The Seahawks put together a 3-1 victory over Petersburg in Friday's consolation bracket semifinal, then went the distance against Glennallen in Saturday's fourth-place match, defeating the Panthers 3-2.
"I think we really wanted first place, but when you get kicked out in the first round, you have to really work hard and do what you can," said Seward's Tara DeRuwe, "So we're happy with fourth in the end."
Clinching fourth place certainly wasn't easy. Seward won the first game against Petersburg 15-3, but the Vikings rallied to win the second game 15-8. The Seahawks closed out the match with a pair of 15-5 wins in game three and game four, though.
The Seahawks opened with a 15-10 loss against the Panthers, but Seward evened the match with a 15-12 win in the second game.
Glennallen took the third game 15-6, but the Seahawks were able to force a fifth game by winning 15-11 in game four.
Seward gradually built a lead in the deciding game, pulling out a 15-7 win.
"We all worked really hard," DeRuwe said. "We wanted it at the end. We didn't do it in the first game, but to come back, we worked really hard to get it done in the end."
This year marked Seward's 10th consecutive trip to the state tournament, but DeRuwe, a senior, said the experience never gets old.
"I think's it's exciting," DeRuwe said. "We have more experience, but it's still exciting every time."
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