The Alaska high school state volleyball tournament concluded on December 10th at Dimond High, resulting in 2A, 3A and 4A division winners. See the full brackets and schedules here.
Craig High School came back from a first set loss to defeat Petersburg 3-1 for the 2A state title. The set scores of the match were 21-25, 26-24, 25-19, and 25-21.
The Panthers finished off their undefeated season with only three set losses total. Two of those were to the Petersburg Vikings, in two separate matches.
Haleigh Ebbighausen was named Class 2A Defensive Specialist, while teammates Danielle Reeves, Aspen Hansen, and Nicole Mackie were all named to the 2A All-Tournament team.
Mt. Edgecumbe defeated Nikiski in the championship match in three sets, and forced a final set to 30, winning that as well. The Braves swept the Bulldogs in three sets (25-13, 25-12, 25-10) to force the if-necessary set to 30 points. The Braves cinched their championship win with a 30-22 victory.
Their Class 3A championship win seemed like a long shot after they were sent to the consolation bracket after a loss to Nikiski in the semi-finals. The Braves defeated Grace Christian to come back out of the bracket and face the Bulldogs once again, this time for the gold.
Impressive performances for Mt. Edgecumbe came from Bethany Carstens (13 kills), Melanie Sexton (8 kills, 25 digs), Jamie Yerkes (three aces, seven kills), and Kelsey Clark (35 digs). This is the fourth time in six years that Mt. Edgecumbe has won the state championship game.
Dimond High School won a five-set thriller over the South Wolverines to push the if-necessary final set to 30 to determine who would be the 4A Alaska state champion. That set would go to the Dimond Lynx, giving them their second consecutive state championship win.
Dimond lost the first two sets, and because they had already lost one match to South in the (double elimination) tournament semifinals, they had to win the following three sets of the match to force the final set to 30. Scores of the match and additional set were: 23-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-12 and 30-20.
The Lynx were led by senior Brynn Sulte, who racked up 30 kills during the course of the six sets. Alissa Pili added 21 kills and 20 digs, while Hahni Johnson had 25 assists and 16 digs, and Mia Ekstrand added 17 kills.
The rivalry between Dimond and South is a strong one, as one of the two teams has been the 4A state champion every year since 2005.