No volleyball team was going down without a fight during Homer’s Peninsula Challenge attended by the Mariner varsity and JV, Kenai varsity and JV and Cordova varsity. After battling their way through several fierce matches Homer varsity took first place followed by the varsity team for Kenai.
After an initial round robin play on Friday, Homer went into the double elimination tournament on Saturday seeded second with a 5-3 record after Kenai with a 7-1 record.
Mariner varsity beat Kenai JV in the first round of the double elimination tournament and then went on to face Kenai varsity and was beaten 18-25, 19-25. The close loss kicked Homer into the losers bracket with Kenai JV where the Mariners were again victorious 25-9, 25-20.
Homer went on to beat Kenai varsity, interrupting Kenai’s undefeated winning streak.
According to the tournament rules the final “playoff” game between Homer and Kenai would be set to 25 points. In the words of Head Coach Beth Trowbridge “Homer continued to play strong,” and with fiery momentum beat Kenai 25-19 to win the championship.
Trowbridge said the team served at close to 100 percent during the final playoff set.
Ten players were selected for the All-Tournament Team including Mariners Tayla Cabana, Zoia Basargin, Larsen Fellows and Maggie Koplin.
Cabana had the team high of 56 kills for the weekend followed by Basargin with 41, Kyla Pitzman with 24, Fellows contributed 14 and Hailey Hughes added eight.
Koplin and Pitzman each had 10 service aces and Cabana and Fellows followed with nine. McKi Needham had five aces and held a 98 percent serving record, missing only one serve during the tournament.
Both Pitzman and Basargin had four solo blocks at the net. Koplin led the team in defense with 52 digs.
Mariner JV was matched against the Kenai JV after losing their fist two games. Trowbridge said they “played tough,” but lost in three sets 16-25, 25-28, 9-15.
Homer hosted a non-conference match against Soldotna High School on Tuesday. Mariners lost two of the five games with the final score of 27-25, 22-25, 25-19, 23-25, and 9-15.
“I was hoping we would take it but I could definitely see fatigue set in during game five,” said Trowbridge. “I’m very proud of how they played and how, in general, they have taken their play up another notch.”
The Alice Witte Alumni match will be played Friday, and a non-conference game against Kenai Varsity on Saturday.
Shannon Reid is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.