Nome topped Ninilchik 25-20, 25-21 and 25-22 Thursday in the opening round of the Class 1-2-3A West state volleyball tournament at Dimond High School.
It was Ninilchik's first game at state, while Nome has had previous state experience, winning the state title in 1999. Ninilchik coach Mary Clock said experience did play a part in Thursday's contest.
"Because volleyball is such a mental game, it helps to be mentally tough and have that state experience," Clock said. "Ninilchik doesn't have that experience. This is the beginning of something for us."
Clock said her team did not play badly Thursday, but the Wolverines also had trouble pulling out spectacular plays that would have been the difference in the close match.
"They never seemed to get real fired up," Clock said of her squad.
Clock did say Amanda Matson had a solid match and was named one of the players of the game.
The Wolverines will start play in the fourth-place bracket today when they take on Klawock, which lost 25-10, 25-13 and 25-16 to Dillingham Thursday.
"(Klawock) was definitely weaker than Dillingham, but I think they just got off the plane and were coming in cold," Clock said. "I don't know what to expect from them, but I expect our girls to be up and ready for that one."
Also Thursday, Hoonah beat Kenny Lake 20-25, 25-13, 25-18 and 25-9.
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