Sierra Moran slides on her knees to save a point for the Panthers. CC Hahn, left, and Tess Korsmo are ready to pounce. JB

Skagway knocks off defending champs

At this week’s 2A North Seeding Tourney, the Skagway volleyball team lost some matches it could have won but scored its biggest victory in many seasons by knocking off perennial region power Hoonah in just four games.
“We’re freaking,” said junior captain C.C. Hahn after the win.
“We’ve never beaten Hoonah, ever,” said coach Becky Jensen. “This is very exciting.”
With just a dozen or so – but very vocal – Skagway fans in the bleachers at Tuesday night’s final game, the Panthers pulled off what seemed the impossible, especially after falling in five games to a young Kake team earlier in the evening.
The games all week had been close, and the Hoonah games were no exception. Hahn served the winning points in the opening game for a 25-21 win, but Hoonah came back in the next contest to win 25-20.
Early in the third game, after watching freshman Paige Hahn’s rustration over missing a hit, coach Jensen told her, “You can!” A few points later, Hahn scored a winner to keep Skagway close. Other highlights of that key game for Skagway were a hit by Ali Doland to end a long volley, and then she followed it up from the service line with an ace to tie the score at 15-15.
From that point on, it was Skagway’s match. The Panthers seemed to have an answer for many of the blistering serves and hits by Hoonah’s Jessie Skaflestad, the region’s top player. And Skagway was dead on with its serving by C.C. Hahn, Sierra Moran, and finally, Elise Doland. The unheralded freshman Doland served two straight aces, and her final serve was returned out of bounds, as Skagway won that game 25-19.
Hoonah was desperate in the fourth game, but the relaxed Skagway team responded. Again, Skaflestad was dominant, but she could not carry the whole Hoonah team, which made some key mistakes. C.C. Hahn took advantage of all her serve opportunities and was good for at least three points every time she took the ball. Paige Hahn made some key hits as well, and trench players Moran, Ali Doland, Emily Herbig and Tess Korsmo made some great sets and saves. Korsmo’s desperation two-fisted volley that just cleared the net in the middle of the match sent the message that this was Skagway’s night.
The Panthers were a point from victory with a 24-19 lead, but a Skagway miss and three straight no-return serves by Hoonah put the Braves right back in it. Jensen called time out to calm her team down, but they never had to hit the ball as the Braves server sent Skagway’s winning point into the net.
The Panthers received a rousing ovation from the few fans left, but tempered their own “freaking” enthusiasm in deference to the Braves, who appeared stunned.
Skagway earlier in the tourney had been able to beat Thorne Bay in four games, but had fallen in two tighter matches with Porter Creek and Kake. Both of those went five games and Skagway could not hold on to leads in the final games. But against Hoonah, they didnít have to take it to five games. They finished off the Braves in four, and this boost in self-confidence could signal some great things ahead for this young Panther volleyball team.
“I’m very proud of them,” Jensen said. “I told them they all deserved a pat on the back. They know they can do it now.”
Hoonah also lost to Klawock, so it appears the Southeast 2A region is wide open this year.

From left, Paige Hahn strikes a serve, the team gathers around coach Jensen, and C.C. Hahn spikes. JB

2A North Seeding Tourney

Oct. 23- Porter Creek def. Skagway: 21-25, 25-12, 25-15, 16-25, 15-13; Skagway def. Thorne Bay: 13-25, 25-14, 25-13, 25-15.

Oct. 24 - Kake def. Thorne Bay: 25-8, 25-24, 25-8; Hoonah def. Porter Creek: 21-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-14, 15-9; Porter Creek def. Thorne Bay: 25-22, 25-14, 25-14; Klawock def. Hoonah: 25-16, 24-26, 25-15, 25-22; Kake def. Skagway: 13-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-18, 15-11; Skagway def.Hoonah: 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22.

Oct. 25- Porter Creek def. Skagway: 25-11, 25-21, 25-20; Hoonah def. Thorne Bay" 25-19, 25-5, 27-25; Klawock def. Porter Creek: 25-21, 25-12, 23-25, 25-15; Klawock def. Kake: 25-22, 25-20, 25-17; Kake def. Thorne Bay: 25-17, 25-21, 25-?; Hoonah def. Kake: 15-19, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14; Klawock def. Skagway: 25-11, 25-16, 25-13.

Wrestling well in Wrangell

Don Hather Tourney up next for Panther grapplers

Four Skagway boys placed at the Wrangell Invitational wrestling meet last weekend. Freshman Thomas Etue was the highest Panther on the bracket boards with a fourth place finish. Josh Cotton finished with a 4-2 record to earn fifth place in his weight class, and Tylor Forrester also was fifth in his division. Tom Littlefield took sixth.
Skagway coach Josh Coughran said the team wrestled well amongst a fairly large field that included 3A Seward. It was a good warm-up for the huge field coming here next weekend.
The Don Hather Tourney – Skagway’s first in five years – runs at the SHS gym Nov. 3-4.

DDF team off to great start
At the season’s first Debate, Drama and Forensics (DDF) meet in Haines Oct. 6-7, Shelby Surdyk took first place and Erica Harris finished third in Expository Speaking.
Skagway sent three other students to the meet, compared to larger schools such as Sitka’s 26 contestants, but their
showing was noticed. In the six school meet, Sitka won seven events, Haines won three events, and Skagway won one.
Coaches Fielding and Billi Clem are intensifying practices and are looking for community members with an interest in speaking, debate, or drama to volunteer to listen, watch, and give feedback on student pieces.
Please contact Kent Fielding at 983-3604.

Running Club update
Ten runners showed up for the first run sponsored by the Skagway Running Club on Oct. 16. The five mile course started at the school and ran through Seven Pastures, up a hill, and to the Gold Rush Cemetery and back to the school.
The course was designed by Kaitlyn Surdyk, and ironically enough, the girls race was won by Kaitlyn Surdyk. Other runners included Jestine Ellis, Kayla Henricksen, Shelby Surdyk, Shawn Landers, John Briner, Kent Fielding, Ryan Prnka, Jake Henricksen, and Lachlan Dennis.
The next community run will be a 2-mile Halloween costume run/walk and will be designed by Jake Henricksen, who claims, “It will be spooky.” Cemeteries might be involved. For more information contact Kent Fielding at 983-3604. The Running Club meets M,W,F and Sunday at 4 p.m. to run.