The Cook Inlet Academy volleyball team came from behind to defeat Tri-Valley 25-19, 20-25, 19-25, 25-22 and 15-11 in the opening round of the Class 1/2A state volleyball championships at Dimond High School on Thursday.
The Eagles advance to Friday's semifinals, earning a 6:45 p.m. match against New Stuyahok, 25-15, 25-20, 11-25, 18-25 and 15-10 winners over Skagway. A win against New Stuyahok would lift the Eagles to the match for the state championship.
"It means so much," said coach Lindsay Keener, who in her first season as coach led the Eagles to their first state berth. "We're really proud of the girls, especially coming from behind. They really had to pull together."
After winning the first game, the Eagles dropped the next two.
The comeback was sparked by junior Kelsi Leaf, who Keener said registered a few key hits and blocks to sway the momentum in the fourth game. Senior Tiffany Smith opened the serving in Game 5 and gave the Eagles a 6-0 lead, Keener added. The lead was enough for the Eagles.
"We really had to work together," Keener said.
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