The Homer High School Mariners volleyball team was at it all day Saturday during the Play Like Crazy Tournament, with eight teams participating in the fun and informal round-robin action. Student athletes put the teams together, found sponsors, refereed and got family and friends involved. The winning team, the Beach Bumps, had the honor of enjoying brownies from Two Sisters Bakery.
Following that championship match, the Mariner varsity team took to the floor to play a match against a team of 10 Mariner volleyball alumni who challenged the youngsters in a fun, spirited match reflecting excellent play, according to Trowbridge. The varsity team managed to score a narrow victory over their opponent.
“Overall it was a fun, challenging match for all involved and great to see so many alumni able to come out to play against this year’s team,” said Beth Trowbridge, the Mariners’ head volleyball coach.
In the first tournament round of play, the Gold Diggers, a community team sponsored by New Homes by Needham, had a six-one record, as did the Bomb Squad, a team of seniors from the Mariner basketball team sponsored by Two Sisters Bakery. All About That Ace, a community team sponsored by Fellows Fisheries, had a five-two record and was tied with community team Beach Bumps, sponsored by Anchor Trucking. Project Awesome, a NOMAR-sponsored community team, had a record of three-four. The Knights, a community self-sponsored team, had a two-five record. The Ball Crushers, a team comprised mostly of freshman boys and sponsored by the F/V Renaissance, had a one-six record. Rounding out the action was Serves You Right, a community team backed by Automotive Collision Experts, with seven losses.
Advancing past the first round were the Gold Diggers, Bomb Squad, All About That Ace and the Beach Bumps. The next round of wins pitted the Gold Diggers against the Beach Bumps and the Bomb Squad against All About That Ace. Wins by the Beach Bumps and Bomb Squad created a rematch of last year’s championship match. In the end, the Beach Bumps prevailed, beating the Bomb Squad 25-23 and 25-22.
The varsity team took its first two games 25-13 and 25-14 before the alumni charged back, winning the third game 25-19. In the fourth and final game, the varsity squeaked by with a 25-23 victory.
The alumni team included Miranda Beach, HHS class of 2014; Jessie Erickson, 2010; Reba Temple, 2008; Chelsea Owens and Rachel Bornheimer, both 2007; Sierra
Frost, 2006; Katie Gavenus, 2005; Jessica Marx, 1996; Michelle Borland, 1992; and Anita DeCreeft, 1978.
Jessie Erickson, in her third year on the alumni team, was really happy with the way they played.
“They (the varsity) shut us down in four. We all played really hard from like 9 a.m. and the alumni game ended about 9p.m.,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
The Mariner varsity team included Larsen Fellows with 10 kills, Jane Rohr with eight kills, Kyla Pitzman with five kills and Malina Fellows with three kills. Varsity served tough with Izabelle Hagge serving four aces; Maryhana Bowe, McKi Needham and Larsen Fellows each added three more aces.
“It’s a little bit of a mindset switch, but it was really fun to get out and play,” said Rohr, who played as a coach in the tournament and as a varsity player in the alumni match.
In addition to honoring Alice Witte, the school’s first volleyball coach who died from breast cancer, the tournament’s proceeds go to support breast cancer awareness and research and to provide a scholarship opportunity for a player to attend a summer camp in the Lower 48. This is in addition to a $500 annual scholarship to attend volleyball camp that is available through the Homer Foundation’s Alice Witte Scholarship Fund.
Homer’s C, junior varsity and varsity teams head into the last week of regular season play with matches today at 4, 5 and 6:30 p.m. against Grace Christian. This also is senior night, when the Mariners honor those graduating this year.
The Mariners play Friday against Houston at noon, 1 and 2:30 p.m. That will wind up the C and JV season, while the varsity team prepares for Regions at Grace the following weekend.