• Nikolaevsk earns only Denali Conference berth to State
By Sean Pearson
Two days of uncooperative weather proved the toughest battle the Nikolaevsk Mixed-6 volleyball team would face all weekend.
Acting as host for the 2013 Denali Conference Mixed-6 Volleyball Tournament, the Warriors were a bit inhospitable to the guest Seldovia Sea Otters and Kodiak Emerging Small School team with their dominating play and first-place finish.
In fact, they were downright stingy with the lone Denali Conference berth to State.
“I thought our kids played well,” said Nikolaevsk Volleyball Coach Bea Klaich. “None of our matches were very close, so we were able to win all three matches in three straight sets.”
The biggest drama for the tourney came from Mother Nature.
“Weather was a huge problem,” Klaich said. “Kodiak was fogged in on Friday, so we waited for them to arrive on Saturday.”
When one of the two planes finally got out on Saturday, the pilot couldn’t land in Homer because of heavy fog. The Bears landed in Kenai instead, and had to wait for their bus to drive from Homer to go pick them up and bring them down.
“The tournament had several delays because of weather, but the teams and fans were patient, and I think everyone had a good time,” Klaich said. “This is Alaska, and I think we all understand that anything can happen with the weather; expect the unexpected.”
The Warriors hit the road this weekend, traveling to Anchorage for the State Mixed-6 Tournament at Dimond High School.
“We play Gustavus and Golivin in our pool on Thursday afternoon,” Klaich said. “Both are tough teams.”
Unalakleet is the reigning State Champion, and Klaich said her team will need to play great at the net, and get strong passing from the back row to execute kills.
“We are working on more aggressive hitting and blocking in practice this week,” she said.
As far as what the competition will look like this weekend, Klaich said she really has no idea what to expect.
“This is our first Mixed-6 appearance at State,” she explained. “So, I’m just looking forward to seeing how we stack up against the rest of the best teams.”
2013 Denali Conference Mixed-6 Tournament Awards
Kodiak ESS: Korena Nelson, David Reft
Seldovia: Aidan Philpot, Thor Burt, Olivia Turner, Chance Haller, Devin Chissus, Alexandria Swick, Calem Collier.
Nikolaevsk: Nianiella Dorvall
Kodiak ESS: Damian Melendiz, Emma Nelson
Seldovia: Alexandria Swick, Marina Chissus
Nikolaevsk: Kilina Klaich, Anthony Yakunin, Greg Trail, Jaruby Nelson, Nianiella Dorvall
Most Valuable Players
Nikolaevsk: Jaruby Nelson,
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