Kotzebue, Barrow spikers advance to state tourney
The Barrow Lady Whalers and Kotzebue Lady Huskies punched their tickets to the Class 3A state volleyball tournament over the weekend by turning in solid performances at the 2017 Western Conference Tournament in Bethel.
The Lady Whalers nailed down the conference crown with relative ease. Barrow breezed past Bethel Regional High School in the first round of the tournament and then rallied from an early deficit to claim a 3-1 victory over Kotzebue on Friday night. Now 19-1 for the season, Barrow struggled early in the championship game. Backed by solid lay at the net, Kotzebue pounded out a stunning 25-17 victory in the first game of the best-of-five series.
The Lady Huskies blew Game 1 open midway through the opening frame. After Barrow had managed to fight its way back to an 8-8 toe, Calia Sieh and Caitlin Conwell helped Kotzebue reel off a 13-4 run that stretched the KHS lead to 21-12.
Kutuuq Danner and the BHS spikers got rolling in the third. Led by Milya Wright, rallied from a 23-22 lead late to claim a 25-23 victory. Barrow took Game 3 by a 25-21 margin before closing out the contest with a 25-15 run in Game 4.
With the loss, Kotzebue fell into a second-place showdown with Bethel.
The Lady Huskies, after splitting the first two games, salted away their second straight trip to the state tournament by pounding out wins of 25-19 and 25-10 in Game 3 and Game 4.
The Class 3A state volleyball tournament will tip off on Nov. 9 in Anchorage.