During a drill with coach Matt Foss (left), Cierra Hahn nails a hit after being given a good set from Sierra Moran.

Volleyball team poised for run at region title

The Skagway High girls volleyball team started off the season by knocking off most of the competition and winning the silver bracket at the All Comers Tournament in Sitka last month.
This included wins over teams from Sitka and Juneau. “That was a boost for our confidence,” said new coach Matt Foss.
But they could not get past Klawock, which ended up winning the gold bracket.
The Panthers followed that tourney up with a second place finish among 2A teams at the North Seeding Tourney in Hoonah. Skagway beat Kake and Thorne Bay easily, and won a tough match over Hoonah. However, the Panthers again could not win a game against defending region champ Klawock.
“We progressively played (Klawock) better each game,” Foss said. “They are definitely beatable. At regionals we will show them a completely different team.”
The Panthers are in a “game-less” mode most of this month, as regionals aren’t until Nov. 30 in Kake. They are hoping a team from Whitehorse can come down for a match before then, so they can try out a “Libibero” method of substituting, where you can throw in a sub for anyone, Foss said.
Winning region is the goal, but a second place finish would still earn Skagway a trip to state tourney.
The team is a good mix of senior experience and young talent. Sisters Cierra Hahn, a senior hitter/blocker, and Paige Hahn, a sophomore serving sensation, made all-conference last year. They are joined in the starting line-up by senior Sierra Moran, senior Ali Doland, and freshman Jestine Ellis. Sophomores Emily Herbig and Elise Doland can switch in easily, as well as senior setter Teslyn Korsmo and freshmen Kaylie O’Daniel and Amanda Jensen.
“They are all very coachable girls,” Foss said. “Some magic happened in Sitka. I’d say ‘give the ball to her, she slams it, and we win,’ and that’s what happened.”
Foss said they were all “ready to play” before he arrived on the scene.
UPDATE: After this story was written, the Hoonah team decided to make a trip to Skagway for three nights of matches starting Nov. 7. The Lady Panthers won two of the three matches. Details in next issue.

Elks volunteer Robert Murphy watches Dawson Clem wind up for a kick at the goal.

Big turnout for annual Soccer Shoot
A record field turned out for the annual Elks Soccer Shoot after school on Oct. 26. Awards to the top three in each age group were handed out at a burger feed at the lodge the next day:
Boys under 7: Danny Brady 24, Zachary Breen 17, Wyatt Belisle 13.
Girls under 7: Rebecca Hollander 23, Johanna Roseberg 20, Jasmine Briggs 19.
Boys under 10: Gavin Murphy 13, Alex Ackerman 11, Colton Belisle 10.
Girls under 10: Taylor Eagan 27, Zoe Wassman 19, Danien Teeluk 18.
Boys under 12: Donovan Henson 15, Yasha Saldi 9, Zach Wassman 6.
Girls under 12: Jade Cook 3, Sunnie Cotton, Polly Brown.
Boys under 14: Ian Klupar 23, Jonny Castle 11, Airk Cochran 11.
Girls under 14: Nikita Ford 22, Anna Korsmo 17, Jayce Ellis 15.
The top scores were turned into the Alaska Elks to see how they compared with other results around the state.s

Championship Nail Biters

The intramural hoop season wrapped up Oct. 25 with two exciting and close championship games. Above, Sunnie Cotton takes a shot in the Terminators’ 23-20 win over the Sonics. In the older kids division, the Spider Pigs beat the Bats on a last minute 3-pointer by Rori Leaverton, 21-20. JB