Mariner volleyball team reaches for region title

The Mariner volleyball team competes at the Region III 3A Volleyball Tournament this weekend where they will face opponents that they have both won against and lost to during the course of the season. The tournament starts Friday at Houston High School.

Homer High School’s volleyball team began the season on rocky ground as the team adjusted to new head coach Kristie Mastre and several new underclassmen. The Mariners lost the first eight games of the season, with their first win coming Sept. 17 against Anchorage Christian, according to Alaska School Activities Association’s website

Though the team has strong leadership in returning upperclassmen, there was a disconnect between the older and younger girls at the beginning of the season, said junior Raisa Basargin.

“We had some losses in the beginning of the year, but I think that was all new … coaches and stuff like that,” Basargin said. “It was hard at first because we’re all kind of new to each other. There were people coming from C-team to play. It took a long time to get to know each other but playing as a team made us work together before.”

Throughout the season at games and team-bonding activities, the upper and underclassmen players learned to trust each other, which resulted in a better record for the second half of the season, said sophomore Calla Seay.

Since mid-September, the Homer varsity volleyball team picked up a total of 7 wins for the season. Five of those wins counted in their conference, placing them at 5-7 at the end of the regular season. Anchorage Christian Schools and Redington sit below Homer in conference standing, while Houston, Seward, Nikiski and conference leader Grace Christian are above.

Homer will play their first game at the region tournament Friday at noon against Houston, a team they are 1-1 with right now. A Homer victory against Houston will then place Homer against undefeated Grace Christian at 4 p.m. Friday, which Homer lost to 3-1 and 3-0 Sept. 16 and 29.

If Homer pulls off a victory against Grace, the Mariners will compete for the championship at 4 p.m. Saturday against either Seward, ACS, Nikiski or Redington.

Half of teams that Homer could go up against for the region title are teams they have previously secured strong victories over. However, the other half are teams that stomped down Homer early in the season.

Homer lost to Seward, who is currently 4-4 in the conference, twice early in the season, but has not faced them since Sept. 15. Nikiski also beat Homer twice, 3-0 and 3-1, in games on Sept. 2 and Oct. 4. However, Homer crushed ACS 3-0 twice in games in September as well, and the Anchorage team is last in conference at 3-11. Homer also shutout Redington at their two matches this season on Oct. 15 and Oct. 29.

Mastre said she would coach again next year, and many years after, if the school wants her to return. Throughout the season, she has learned a lot about coaching and feels more prepared for next year.

“It’s not as easy nearly as I thought it would be. I don’t know why I thought it would be easy, but it’s been hard. I need to be meaner,” Mastre said with a laugh. “I can’t be their friend as much as I want to be a friend-role model for them, I can’t. I have to be a coach before anything else and teach them what they need to know because I don’t like seeing them lose. It’s not fun to lose.”

Anna Frost can be reached at

More in Sports

Sports in brief

Football The Sept. 24 junior varsity football game vs. Redington was canceled.… Continue reading

Homer quarterback Carter Tennison tries to avoid the tackle of Kenai Central’s Talon Whicker on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai football holds off Homer

The Kenai Central football team held off a Homer comeback for a… Continue reading

Grace sweeps Frank D. Invite

The Grace Christian girls and boys cross-country teams swept the Frank D.… Continue reading

A thunderstorm is seen Aug. 3, 2021, in Okanogan County, Washington. (Kathryn Knowlton/submitted photo)
Tangled Up in Blue: Shelter from the storm

I recently learned that the opposite of deja vu is jamais vu,… Continue reading

Area volleyball teams pile up experience at West Spiketacular

The Kenai Central volleyball team led the Kenai Peninsula at the West… Continue reading

Colony girls, Kodiak boys swimmers win SoHi Invite

The Colony girls and Kodiak boys swimming and diving teams won the… Continue reading

The afternoon sun makes birch leaves glow yellow on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at the Hidden Lake Campground in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Sterling, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Fall in Alaska is subtle but fabulous

On my mother’s side I come from a long line of New… Continue reading

Jacoby wins 2nd Pentathlon in record-setting fashion

A lot has happened, to say the least, to Seward senior Lydia… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Football The Sept. 17 junior varsity football game vs. Kenai was canceled.… Continue reading

Most Read