Mariner volleyball team places third in Cordova tournament

Homer High’s volleyball team played a fast-paced tournament in Cordova on Aug. 30-31, after maneuvering through some unexpected travel complications. Two players were recognized with tournament awards and the Mariners placed third, which Coach Beth Trowbridge said served as a valuable warm up to the tournament-intensive season.

“I am so impressed by the level of play that these girls achieved this weekend,” said Trowbridge. “They showed their potential and they gained respect from the other teams.  Homer can expect some exciting volleyball this season.”

The team had to alter travel plans Thursday after finding the ferry ramp in Whittier broken. That resulted in missing a conference match against Cordova scheduled on the evening before the tournament, but team energy remained positive.

“The complications that we had with travel really didn’t affect us too much,” said Trowbridge.

Because of uncertainties with transportation out of Cordova, Homer’s first home match against Kenai scheduled for Tuesday was also canceled.

“We have two matches to make up due to the travel complications,” said Trowbridge, “but we have two months ahead of us so it shouldn’t be too hard to reschedule.”

Trowbridge was pleased with tournament results and stressed the importance of abundant game experience early in the school year, before the player’s coursework becomes heavier.

“Overall, this tournament was an excellent way for the team to begin to gel and show glimpses of their potential. They gained a lot of skills as well as confidence throughout the busy playing schedule.”

After a round-robin competition Aug. 30, Homer advanced to the upper “blue bracket” along with Valdez, Seward and Kenai. Homer first played Seward, losing the third set of a two-out-of-three game to Seward, with a close final score of 15-17. After beating Kenai in three sets scoring 22-25, 25-13 and 15-7, Homer faced Seward again. The Mariners lost 25-18 and 15-25 in the semi final match and placed third.

Homer JVs played a straight double elimination tournament and also came in third place, losing to Kenai in the semi finals.

Several players stood out for consistent improvement during the weekend. In her second year on varsity Larsen Fellows, a junior, was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

“Larsen Fellows was steady as a setter, dishing up 60 assists for the weekend and contributing seven kills in the front row,” said Trowbridge. “She was the team leader for service aces and serving consistency. She had two solo blocks and two block assists as well as 10 digs.”

Senior Zoia Basargin, a third-year varsity player, shared the MVP award with a Valdez player after receiving tying votes.

“Zoia Basargin had an excellent tournament and was the team leader in many areas. She was our main offensive weapon having 47 kills for the weekend and very few errors.” said Trowbridge. “She played great defense as well, with 23 digs and excellent passing.”

The team is gearing up for their first conference match against Skyview at Homer High on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m.  Homer will compete in Seward this weekend in a meet against Seward, Grace Christian and Houston.

Shannon Reid is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.