Houston, Seward, Grace Christian and Homer volleyball teams faced off in Seward during the annual North vs. South Tournament Sept. 6-7, with Homer securing second place.
After an excellent performance in the beginning of the tournament, the Lady Mariners struggled under the wear of consecutive games, according to Coach Beth Trowbridge.
“The girls played well initially in the round robin, executing their defense better than they had the weekend before and being more aggressive on their offense,” said Trowbridge.
Despite missing a senior outside hitter, Homer won two games against Houston during the round robin play on Friday, and then split with Seward 25-21 and 20-22. After losing to Grace Christian 25-17 and 17-25, Homer faced Seward again in the first round of a double-elimination tournament, organized based on the round robin results.
According to Trowbridge, the team’s elevated performance hiccupped toward the end of the day and Homer fell to Seward 25-10 and 25-21.
“The long day seemed to catch up with them as they played Seward in the first round of the double elimination late Friday night after round robin play,” said Trowbridge.
“Unforced hitting and serving errors made a difference during the first game and then they rallied strong to keep the second game close.”
The next day Homer returned rejuvenated and earned a semi-final match against Seward after beating Houston 28-26, 25-20 and 14-6. Homer couldn’t regain lost ground and lost to Seward 25-17 and 25-14.
Leading the team with 35 kills, Trowbridge christened Zoia Basargin “one of the strongest offensive players in the region.” Kyla Pitzman took advantage of valuable front row playing time and came in second on the team with 30 kills. Larsen Fellows followed with nine kills, Jane Rohr with six, Hailey Hughes with five and Maryhana Bowe with four kills. McKi Needham led the team with 11 service aces and senior Maggie Koplin led in defensive digs and serve receive passing.
Homer JV advanced from third place in their round robin play by beating Houston in the first round of tournament play, and were matched against Seward in the tournament championship.
The three game competition was close, but Homer again lost to Seward with a final game score of 15-13. Isabel Beach led the team in kills and Coach Lisa Fellows applauded Aspen Daigle and Jenna Dragoo for consistent passing in the back row.
Trowbridge said the game experience against Houston and Grace will be beneficial for region conference matches later in the season.
Mariners fall to Skyview in Tuesday action
Mariner fans cheered from Mariner bleachers Tuesday during Homer’s first conference match against Skyview. Despite the hometown support, the Lady Mariners’ comparatively less experienced varsity team fell to last year’s region champions with the final score of 15-25, 18-25 and 14-25.
Fellows and Needham served at 100 percent, and Hughes had 3 kills and 3 solo blocks. Koplin had 8 defensive digs and Brenna Evarts had 4 digs.
Trowbridge is looking forward to having a week of practice to prepare for the Skyview rematch in two weeks and the upcoming home games next weekend.
“It will be good to regroup and know what we have to work on,” she said.
Because the scheduled tournament in Houston was canceled, the team will enjoy a matchless weekend before hosting a home game against Nikiski at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 and Seward at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 21.