SoHi volleyball takes 2nd at Grizzly Invite

The Soldotna volleyball team finished second at the Grizzly Invitational on Saturday in Anchorage.

“I thought we were really consistent throughout the weekend,” Soldotna coach Sheila Kupferschmid said. “I thought the kids played hard and together, and it was an encouraging weekend for SoHi volleyball.”

The Stars were the only team from the Kenai Peninsula to advance to the Platinum Bracket, the tournament’s top bracket.

Soldotna started by losing to Valdez and falling into the playback bracket. There, SoHi defeated Kodiak, Wasilla and Valdez to reach the final.

“The kids played very well in the semis to get into the final,” Kupferschmid said. “They were just steadfast, and I was extremely pleased they were able to overcome Valdez. It seemed like they had our number.”

The Stars lost the final to Palmer. Kupferschmid said the Stars had to play more matches than the Moose, but gave credit to Palmer for playing very well in the title game.

Holleigh Jaime was defensive player of the tournament and all-tournament for Soldotna, while Ituau Tuisaula also was all-tournament.

Nikiski, Seward and Homer all ended up in the Gold Bracket after pool play.

The Bulldogs finished second in the bracket, losing to Eagle River in the final. Nikiski started with a victory over Monroe, then lost to Eagle River to fall into the playback bracket. There, the Bulldogs beat Monroe to make the championship.

Nikiski’s Kaitlyn Johnson was named the best setter of the tournament, and also made the all-tournament team.

Seward finished fourth by losing to Monroe, beating Homer, then losing to Monroe again. Homer was fifth, losing to Eagle River and then Seward.

Seward’s Coral Petrosius was named the best hitter in the tournament, and also made the all-tournament team. Homer’s Brianna Hetrick also made all-tournament.

Kenai Central finished fourth in the Silver Bracket. The Kardinals lost to Sitka and ACS.

Friday, Soldotna won Pool A with a 6-1 record, while Nikiski was fourth at 4-3 and Homer was fifth at 3-4. In Pool B, Seward was fifth at 3-4 and Kenai Central was sixth at 2-5.

In pool play, the Stars beat Sitka 25-11, beat Wasilla 25-18, beat Anchorage Christian Schools 25-13, beat Nikiski 25-19, lost to Valdez 25-20, beat Homer 25-11 and beat Monroe 25-18. In addition to losing to the Stars, Nikiski beat Monroe 25-12, beat Homer 25-17, lost to Valdez 25-19, lost to Wasilla 25-20, beat ACS 25-12 and beat Sitka 25-18. In addition to losing to SoHi and Nikiski, Homer lost to Valdez 25-10, lost to Wasilla 25-13, beat Monroe 25-20, beat Sitka 25-22 and beat ACS 25-11.

In Pool B, Seward lost to Eagle River 25-19, beat Kenai 25-15, beat Mt. Edgecumbe 25-15, lost to Palmer 25-19, lost to Grace 25-21, lost to Kodiak 25-21 and defeated Kotzebue 25-16. In addition to losing to Seward, Kenai lost to Palmer 25-18, lost to Eagle River 25-18, lost to Kodiak 25-20, defeated Kotzebue 25-13, lost to Grace 25-21 and defeated Mt. Edgecumbe 25-23.