Panther spikers take second in region, take on Tok at State

The Skagway girls volleyball team secured a state tournament berth with a second place finish in the Southeast 2A Tourney in Kake last weekend.
It will be the Panthers’ third trip to state in four years, after an absence in 2006. They opened against Tok Thursday afternoon in Anchorage after this issue went to press. To follow results, go to and click on the 1A-2A-3A West volleyball links.
Coach Matt Foss said Skagway came out strong in its opening match of the region tourney, knocking off Hoonah in three straight games.
That put them in a match against top-seed Klawock, which took care of the Panthers in three games. The region tourney was a round-robin format, so Skagway had to play another match for the right to challenge Klawock a second time in the championship.
Hoonah was Skagway’s opponent again, and the Braves were better prepared, taking the Panthers to an emotionally charged fifth game. Each team lost a player to injury. Sierra Moran injured her jaw on a dive, and a Hoonah player broke her shoulder running into a wall.
“It came down to our serving in the end,” Foss said. “Cierra Hahn did very well.” Skagway won 15-13 to secure a state berth.
Although they played better against Klawock in the finals, the Panthers were unable to muster a win over the Chieftains. By the final game, Foss said he wanted to get everyone some playing time “to get experience for state.”
Moran was named to the all-conference team, while fellow seniors Hahn and Ali Doland were named to the senior all-academic team. Named to the all-sport team for Skagway were Elise and Ali Doland.
Foss said he knows nothing about the teams at state, other than Klawock. Tok won the Borealis Region and finished fourth in the state last year. Foss said they’ll employ a hard-hitting strategy at the beginning of the match, spiking just about every time. This worked well against Hoonah, he said, allowing Skagway to drop in some sets over the defenders later in the match. “We seem to do better when we play that way,” he said.
State tourney has a double elimination format, but losers can’t climb back through the championship bracket.
If Skagway won Thursday, it would face the winner of the Bethel-Nikolaevsk match in the semi-final at 6:45 p.m. on Friday. If it lost, then it would moved into the consolation round Friday morning.
A complete bracket can be found at All games are at Dimond High School. The championship game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday will be webcast.

UPDATE: The Panther girls fell to Tok in a tough match, but came back to beat Nikolaevsk and advance to the 5th place game, where they lost to their 2A rival Klawock. Details in Dec. 21 issue.

DDF team places in Ketchikan, showcase this Sat.

Skagway has won another first place award at a DDF meet. A new piece by Shelby Surdyk and Erica Harris, “Ja Bo Kake,” based on a Marshallese fable which means “Not Listening to Someone,” took the top Duo award.
The girls play boys who fish, but don’t always listen to their mother, and encounter a devil creature who waits for them.
It has been refined since first shown at the recent Vets Dinner, and will be presented with many others this Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Eagles at 7 p.m. as part of a Yuletide DDF showcase with the Haines team.
Here are complete Skagway results from last weekend’s Debate, Drama and Forensics meet in Ketchikan:
Duo Interpretation of Literature: 1st- Shelby Surdyk and Erica Harris; 5th- Cody Burnham and Brandy Mayo.
Readers Theatre: 2nd- Shelby Surdyk, Erica Harris, Cody Burnham, and Brandy Mayo.
Extemporaneous Commentary: 4th- Shelby Surdyk.
Expository Speaking: Cody Burnham- 8th (made finals).