BY: Kaitlin Daly
Editor’s note: This report on the Su-Valley volleyball team is the first written by the newest member of the KTNA team, intern Kaitlin Daly.
Winning Regionals was only the beginning for the Su-Valley High School varsity volleyball team. This past weekend they continued on to State, where they played games against some of the best teams in Alaska. Before the tournament, freshman Ruby Matthews said, “I’m excited, a little nervous too but I look forward to cheering my little heart out for my team.” Ruby wasn’t the only one excited about this event. The day that the team made the journey to Diamond High School in Anchorage, where the games would be held, students and teachers alike lined the hallways for a heartfelt goodbye. The team then came running down the hallway to receive high-fives and the best of wishes.
Having competed the previous year at State, the team had devised a goal to make it to the championship game this year. “What got us here?” says senior Emily Hartley, “We have always had faith in each other. We have been playing for about 7 years now, and we know each other’s strengths. We have become Su-Valley’s dream-team because of our hard work and trust.”
The most exciting part of the team’s State tournament appearance for the school was the spirit bus that left the school on Friday after classes got out. It took any student who wanted to cheer the team on for five dollars round trip. Little did the students know how much excitement was going to take place during Friday’s matchup. The score went back and forth during the three-out-of-five match tournament style games, until Su-Valley prevailed and won with three matches to two.
With the Friday night victory, Su-Valley was on its way to the championship game Saturday afternoon. The team now had a new goal, winning State. The team Su-Valley faced was not unknown to them; they had played Unalaska four times during their season. At the conference games, Su-Valley had beaten them but it took five matches to do so, and the score was tight.
There was no reason to worry, though, because Su-Valley brought their “a-game” winning the first two tight matches. They then breezed through the third match. With this win Su-Valley became the State Champions of 2013.
Proud coach Chad Valentine says, “The time and dedication the girls put into the sport alone could be seen as the reason why we made it this far, but ultimately everything got us this far. We have a well-rounded team. All the girls are excellent servers and they complement one another in that way. Furthermore all the girls can hit when they’re put in the front row, and due to this they made several kills.”
The girls’ skills also brought them a number of individual awards. Senior Emily Hartley received the award for best hitter, and senior Mariah Reynolds received the award for best server. In addition, three seniors, Emily Hartley, Dana Hogan and Ayla Loper made the State all tourney team.
Coming back to a proud school, there is no doubt that this was a great way for the volleyball girls to end their season.