The Petersburg Viking Volleyball girls came in second in regional play and several of the players were honored with All-Academic, All-Conference and Sportsmanship Award Team.
Petersburg City Schools Athletic Director and Head Coach Jaime Cabral, was very proud of his team and feels comfortable with the finish for the season.
“This is my first year coaching here at Petersburg but my 14th overall,” Cabral said. “The season went well, we started off strong and then you know this is really the most diverse group.”
The team is made up of nine seniors and 14 freshmen which leaves next year's team with a young group of players.
“They are a very athletic group,” he stated. “I just would love to have them for a couple more years to be able to spend more time with them, teaching them more fundamentals.”
The travel proved difficult for the girls, but they were tough and managed great.
“There were times when we played seven games in five days,” Cabral stated. “That was really hard on them but really good for them as a whole and a team.”
According to Cabral, they had some really big wins over Sitka and they were able to pick up some games against a couple of 4A schools. “We played North Pole and beat them and beat Sitka in the same day,” he stated. “It was a really tough schedule for about a week and a half. We played really well in that one.”
Cabral also stated that the team went to the Jive tournament and went up against some of the best teams in the state and were at the state tournament and did well there and competed well.
Mt. Edgecumbe was just absolutely solid all season. They only lost one set in the Southeast, they beat Juneau and they beat practically everyone and just about walked through the state tournament.
“At the region tournament the first game against Sitka we lost in four. We weren't really out there that day. Came back the second day and six of our girls came straight from taking the SAT and started warming up on the floor and put on a show,” Cabral stated. “Defensively they were just on fire and offensively as well we just used the home crowd to win that game and beat Sitka in five and finished Sitka's season for them on that note and then just got ready for the Region V championship game against Edgecumbe.”
According to Cabral, the girls played hard and finished strong and that is all he could ask of them.
“All of my seniors will be gone, so basically my entire varsity is gone,” Cabral said. “Right now I will have nothing but sophomores and freshmen. I have 14 freshmen returning at this time. I am really excited about it. The group I have coming back is very athletic and very talented they work really hard. It is going to be really fun and interesting.”
The competition will be fierce and the girls will be competing for their positions on the floor.
He said that this was a great group to work with academically as well.
“I think our team GPA was a 3.6 total,” he stated. “All the study halls after school paid off and they work hard on the ferry, and we have two hour study sessions all the time.”
The Vikings hosted three tournaments this year. Out of 14 weekends there were nine home events and over 700 students who came to Petersburg with swimming, wrestling and cross-country as well as volleyball.
Kayley Thorsen was named to the All-Conference Team.
“Kayley a did phenomenal job this year,” Cabral said. “She is a very determined and emotional player and she stepped up huge for us this year. She is competitive and she is a senior and I am sorry to lose her.”
The All-Academic honors went to Krissa Davis, Kayley Thorsen, Jael Swanson, Sam Marifern, Courtney Neidiffer, Lauren Bryner, Patricia Jackson and Emma Engell.
“Jael has come a long way as she helped all of the young players this year,” Cabral stated. “Her hitting just turned on this year and she made some adjustments and hit the ball harder than she probably ever had before. Jael is just such an athletically talented girl and when she puts her mind to it she can accomplish anything. She is pretty hard to stop.”
“Emma Engell ran the offense for us and the setter never really gets a whole lot of credit,” he said. “She has developed a lot. I am usually the hardest on the setters and they don't get a lot of credit but they get to touch the ball every time, it is a huge position.”
“Sam Marifern did an excellent job as a right side and played some middle from time to time,” Cabral said. “Courtney Neidiffer played her best weekend of volleyball I have ever seen the last weekend with regions. And that is the time you want them to hit that prime. She did phenomenal.”
“Krissa Davis was the other right side and the back row and the back up setter for Emma,” he said. “Allana Fitts had a couple of early injuries, rolled an ankle and had to miss our first trip over to Sitka but she came back strong and she is just a positive person to have on the floor.”
“Lauren Bryner, she just passed awesome this year. She is good on her feet and works hard and plays hard,” Cabral said.
“Patricia Jackson is our serving specialist that came in and played some right side and right back row for us,” Cabral stated. “She has just this routine serve and it is just a deadly float serve that comes over the net and when she aces people they look as if they have never played volleyball before. She is also our one lefty and every coach wants a lefty on the team.”
“Kyla Willis, Ruby Brock and Josie Prus came up from the JV team and participated on the varsity team,” he said. “I wanted some of the younger girls to get a feel for the competition. I would have loved to have more of them but I could only have 12 on my roster for regions. I brought those three up the last couple of days before region started.”
“Brock even had the opportunity to set for our entire varsity team against Metlakatla in our two way tournament,” Cabral said.
Cabral also stated that this was a wonderful season and is looking forward to next year. “I am so proud of all the girls and I thank them for giving me 100 percent for the season and I am also very thankful for all of the volunteers that helped to make the season a success,” he said.