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Viking volleyball continues undefeated ways in Juneau


Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Martha Johnson helps out with a defensive dig during one of the freshman squad's wins over the weekend.

Petersburg volleyball traveled to Juneau to participate in an All Comers Tournament last weekend, and the Varsity and C-team both brought home tournament championships. The Varsity squad went undefeated in seven matches, adding to their winning streak from the previous weekend when they went 6-0.

Head coach Jaime Cabral says it was a busy weekend for his coaching staff and all of his players. Two gyms were running nonstop over the three-day tournament, and matches were played best of three in order to get all 23 teams on the court.

During the Varsity championship game against Thunder Mountain, the Vikings won the first set 25-18, but the second set proved much closer. Petersburg faced a game point deficit of 21-24 when junior Emma Chase got the ball and started serving. The Vikings, led by Chase, came back and won the set 26-24, to secure the championship. Cabral says Thunder Mountain had the home court advantage and plenty of crowd support, but Chase had been serving fantastic all weekend.

"I cannot keep track of how many times she went back to serve and we just made big, big runs of points," he says. "Pretty amazing, pretty remarkable."

Chase and her teammates also showcased their toughness while playing back row defense and keeping balls off the floor. Cabral says Josie Prus, Chandler Strickland and Hana Newman played exceptional defense, keeping opponents on their toes and frustrated at times.

"Returns and swings from the other team, that they thought were going to be kills we ended up sending back," Cabral says. "We played relentless defense."

For the Junior Varsity (JV) and C-team, the weekend was all about repetition and getting on the court. Making the move from 3A to 2A means Petersburg is playing smaller schools that do not typically have big enough numbers to field JV or freshman teams. For the younger players, last weekend was only the second weekend competing in a game setting this season, besides a scrimmage against Wrangell two weekends ago.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

The Petersburg High School Vikings volleyball team celebrates a point during the All-Comers Invitational in Juneau.

Cabral says the JV got off to a slow start, but finished on a high note after playing six matches. The C-team ended up playing nine matches and won their bracket which included nine teams. Holli Davis and Tiare Simbahon did a great job setting and running the offense for the freshman squad, according to Cabral. Gillian Wittstock, Jasmine Ohmer and Clair Byrer scored a ton of points with their serving, and Martha Johnson really helped the team with her outstanding defense.

The Vikings are heading into an off weekend, and will not take the court again until Nov. 6 and 7, for the South Seeding Tournament in Wrangell. The tournament means six more Varsity games to help with final preparations before the Regional Tournament in Skagway starting Nov. 19.

For now, the coaches are focusing on rest and recovery. Cabral says a couple of players are dealing with ankle injuries, but nothing too serious. Practices this week and next week will mean focusing on fundamentals and basics like ball control, but still maintaining intensity during practice.

"We're past the half way point now, and just looking into sustaining and keeping the drive there," Cabral says.


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