By JEFF BRADY
The Hoonah volleyball machine was amazing to watch, but the biggest thrills of the Region V 2A Volleyball Tourney came from the Skagway Panthers, who challenged Klawock for second place and a trip to state tourney.
Last place Skagway advanced directly to the second round when Thorne Bay failed to show up for the Nov. 17-18 tourney here due to eligibility problems. And in their first game against Klawock, with the entire school enrollment and parents screaming at the top of their lungs, the Panthers came back from an 18-24 deficit to prevail 26-24. Savannah Ames served up the victory, getting a pair of aces and some great hits from Tiffanie Potter.
The second game was just as tight until Klawocks Kayleigh Ryno blocked three Skagway hits and lifted her team to a 25-16 win. The Chieftains followed that up with a 25-13 victory behind a pair of aces by Sharon Webb. Ryno started off the fourth game serving for six straight points, and Skagway looked out of sync despite getting some strong blocks from Audrey Neitzer. Klawock prevailed 25-13 to take the match.
In an earlier match, Hoonah dismantled Kake, 25-10, 25-7, and 25-15, so Skagways next opponent was the T-birds, a team Skagway has lost to early in the season.
Skagway won the five-game thriller over Kake in Monday nights finale. Down two games to one, Skagway came back to beat Kake 21-25, 26-24, 18-25, 25-17, 16-14 before a packed house.
The turning point in the second game came when freshman Brandy Wilson took the serve. Down 24-22, the Panthers won the next four points and the game. Wilson, Ames and Potter served up big streaks in the fourth game. In the final game, Kakes Lakrista Ekis hit and dinked her team to a 13-11 lead, until Ames took over. With good serves and sets from Neitzer, Ames slammed home three shots, and then took over the serving and got the two winners.
Candi Ketterman makes a set for Skagway as Brandy Wilson and Leah Moore watch the play. JB
Kake was shocked, and Skagway was in position to play for a berth at state tourney.
Klawock had to deal with the partisan crowd Tuesday morning, and won the first two games 25-17 and 25-18. But Skagway took command behind Potters strong serves and Ames finishes in the third game for a 25-18 win, and led 21-18 in the fourth game before letting it slip away. Ryno and Danielle Sather hit some bullet serves as the Chieftains won 25-23 to take the match.
We were doing good, said Ames. We just lost our concentration at some key spots.
The Skagway junior, who would make the all-conference team, said it was great to see so much of the public come out and cheer for the team.
Neitzer, who also made all-conference, said, Well go to state next year, for sure.
Skagway coach Becky Jensen was very happy with the teams effort.
We played well as a team and went for every ball, she said. We had some great hits and our serves were better than yesterday.
Jensen also praised her six players, who never had a substitution all season.
Audrey played her heart out every single game, Jensen said. Shes a smart player who knows where she needs to be.
Ames, her other all-conference player, had strong hits, and Candi Ketterman, with a little more focus, can be just as consistent, Jensen said. Leah Moore also had several great hits against Klawock. Potter and Ames are the primo servers on the team, and Wilson also helped with her serving, Jensen added.
She hopes to see all of them back next year with a new corps of freshmen to make a strong team that can challenge Hoonah and Klawock.
Its great not having any seniors, Jensen said. We should have a good knock at it next year.
With little rest, the Chieftains ran up against the Braves 20 minutes later in the championship round. They stayed with Hoonah in the first game, but Hoonahs Amy Wright served for four straight points to break loose an 8-8 tie, and big hits by Andria Skaflestad lifted the Braves to the 25-13 win. In the second game, Hoonah opened up a 9-0 lead behind the serving of Candy Keown, who also served the games final four points for a 25-10 win.
Klawock got some big hits from Ryno to open the third game, but Hoonah freshman Jessica Skaflestad matched them, and strong team serving again carried the Braves to a 25-9 win, and the championship.
Hoonah coach Julie Jackson greeted her senior star, Wright, with a big hug after her team knocked off Klawock in three straight games for the Region V 2A title.
Four in a row! Jackson exclaimed.
You wont find many seniors anywhere who can claim region championships in all four years of high school, and Wright knows shes part of something special.
This is the best team Ive ever been on, Wright said after the 2A sweep. Im excited to go back up there and play (at state tourney).
And win, added a teammate.
Wright wasnt ready to guarantee a state championship, but said the Braves are on a mission.
I am sick of taking second place (at state) three years in a row, she added.
Perhaps the most amazing statistic of the tournament was the Braves serving. To emphasize the importance of getting serves in, Jackson told her players they would sit a rotation if they make a bad serve.
We had one missed serve in three games, Jackson said after her teams fourth straight Region V 2A championship. Thats pretty good, and I think we missed just two for the whole tournament.
The Braves and Chieftains will represent the region at the state tourney Dec. 5-6 at Dimond High School in Anchorage. To follow their progress, go to www.asaa.org.
Tiffanie Potter serves against Kake, and Savannah Ames nails a big hit after a perfect set by Audrey Neitzer. JB
Region V 2A Volleyball Tourney Awards
Don Hather, a retired teacher from Skagway who coached Jackson for four years in Hoonah in the 1970s, gave out the trophies:
All-conference: Hoonah- Amy Wright, Andria Skaflestad, Candy Keown; Klawock- Sharon Webb, Kayleigh Ryno, Alyssa Meece; Skagway- Savannah Ames, Audrey Neitzer; Kake- Danielle Williams, Kelly Kadake.
Serving champ: Lakrista Ekis, Kake.
Passing champ: Audrey Neitzer, Skagway.
Senior Academic awards: Alyssa Meece, Danielle Sather - Klawock; Amy Wright, Andria Skaflestad - Hoonah; Danielle Williams, Kori DeBell, Kelly Kadake - Kake
Good Sports: Kake- Kelly Kadake, Tiffany Berkley; Hoonah- Amy Wright, Kristi Skaflestad; Klawock- Sharon Webb, Danielle Sather; Skagway- Audrey Neitzer, Tiffanie Potter.
Team Sportsmanship: Kake T-Birds
Runner-up: Klawock Chieftains (qualifies for state tourney)
Champion: Hoonah Braves (qualifies for state tourney)
Scrappy Panthers Paige Hahn and Anne Delaplain go for the ball. JB
Boyd Worley Junior High Tourney
Nov. 15-16 Skagway
Haines A 34, Juneau Christian B 11: HNS- Visscher 8, S. Lende 8, Clay 6, Hansen 4, Bilie 4, J. Lende 4; JCS- Burns 4, Worley 2, Orbistondo 2, Sanders 2, Bergmann 1.
Haines B 12, Skagway B 7: HNS- S. Lende 6, Clay 4, Murphy 2; SGY- P. Hahn 6, C. Hahn 1.
Haines A 28, Skagway A 10: HNS- S. Lende 9, J. Lende 8, Hansen 4, Visscher 4, Bilie 3; SGY- Harris 6, C. Hahn 2, P. Hahn 2.
Haines B 22, Juneau Christian A 17: HNS- Clay 12, S. Lende 6, Williams 2, Murphy 2; JCS- Sanders 8, Worley 4, Donahue 2, Bergmann 2, Orbistondo 1.
Juneau Christian A 20, Skagway A 14: JCS- Orbistondo 6, Sanders 6, Worley 4, Burns 2, Donahue 2; SGY- Moran 4, Harris 4, P. Hahn 4, Korsmo 2.
Haines A 26, Juneau Christian A 13: HNS- J. Lende 9, Hansen 4, S. Lende 4, Bilie 3, Visscher 2, Skiles 2, Williams 2; JCS- Bergman 6, Sanders 6, Donahue 1.
MVP: Christine Hansen, Haines; All Stars: JCS- Briana Donahue, Marissa Worley, Danielle Orbistondo, Kailyn Sanders; Haines- Stojanka Lende, J.J. Lende, Teslyn Visscher; Skagway- Sierra Moran. Free throw contest: C.C. Hahn, Skagway; 3-point contest: Christine Hansen, Haines.
Brent Beckner shoots with Jake Henricksen trailing the play. JB
Juneau Christian B 52, Haines B 11: JCS- Hotch 16, Loverink 12, Fagerstrom 12, King 6, Reinwand 4, Lakemon 2; HNS- Lynch 7, Lamberly 2, Lorentz 2.
Juneau Christian A 43, Skagway A 16: JCS- Jacobson 16, Lee 11, Hotch 4, Loverink 4, Fagerstrom 4, King 2, Hart 2; SGY- Bre. Beckner 6, Bri. Beckner 5, Dennis 4, Forester 1.
Skagway B 16, Haines B 15: SGY- Bri. Beckner 8, Cotton 2, Brown 2, Etue 2, Burnham 2; HNS- Lamberty 4, Lorentz 4, Lynch 4, Hagwood 2, Schnabel 1.
Juneau Christian A 43, Haines A 39: JCS- Lee 16, Jacobson 9, Bergman 9, Hotch 4, Fagerstrom 2, Loverink 2, Hart 1; HNS- Fossman 30, Hart 6, Albecker 2, Olsen 1.
Juneau Christian B 56, Skagway B 12: JCS- Lakemon 18, Loverink 10, Hotch 8, Boucher 8, King 6, Fagerstrom 6; SGY- Wilson 4, Etue 2, Forester 2, Brown 2, Cotton 2.
Haines A 37, Skagway A 23: HNS- Fossman 25, Falvey 7, Hart 4, Olsen 1; SGY- Bre. Beckner 15, Henricksen 4, Dennis 2, Wilson 2.
Juneau Christian A 39, Skagway A 9: JCS- Hotch 10, Jacobson 6, Chamberlain 5, Bergmann 4, Loverink 4, Hart 4, Lee 2, Fagerstrom 2, Schmitz 2, Lakemon 2; SGY- Bre. Beckner 9.
Haines B 23, Skagway B 19: HNS- Lorentz 9, Lynch 6, Lamberty 4, Larson 2, Schnabel 2; SGY- Bri. Beckner 7, Wilson 6, Cotton 2, Brown 2, Forester 2.
Juneau Christian B 42, Haines B 7: JCS- Hotch 10, Lakemon 10, Fagerstrom 8, King 6, Loverink 4, Reinwand 4, Schmitz 4; HNS- Lynch 5, Lorentz 2.
Juneau Christian A 37, Haines A 24: JCS- Jacobson 11, Lee 8, Bergman 8, Hotch 6, Hart 2, Schmitz 2; HNS- Fossman 11, Albecker 5, Hart 4, Falvey 4.
MVP: Kyle Fossman, Haines; All Stars: JCS- Michael Jacobson, Logan Lee, Scott Bergman, Jacob Hotch; Haines- James Hart, Orion Falvey; Skagway- Brent Beckner, Mickey Wilson. Free throw contest: Bryce Jones, Skagway; 3-point contest: Kyle Fossman, Haines.