Jacobson named to all-conference squad
The Haines girls’ volleyball team concluded its season at regionals in Ketchikan last week, and junior Anna Jacobson was named to the all-conference team.
"Overall, the girls took their level of play to a higher place and they’re not satisfied with just being a mediocre team," said assistant coach Liana Shull. "Over the season, they’ve just developed a real hunger to get better and to build a stronger volleyball program in Haines."
The Glacier Bears, who also were honored for their sportsmanship in Ketchikan, came up short of advancing to this week’s state tournament in Wasilla, but Shull said the team is looking forward to another run next year.
"The girls are already planning some summer camps and tournaments and fundraisers, as opportunities for them to get more repetition and more experience," she said.
In the double-elimination tournament, Haines fell to Petersburg on Nov. 4, 25-19, 15-25, 12-25 and 8-25. The Glacier Bears then lost to Sitka in a match that went to five games.
"Sitka was the same team that beat us out last year, so we kind of went into that game with high hopes and a real strong desire to beat them," Shull said.
She said the fourth-seeded Glacier Bears played inconsistently against both Petersburg and Sitka. The varsity had headed to Ketchikan following two matches in Craig, "and that’s a really long trip for these girls," Shull said.
She said Jacobson was recognized for her play at libero, a back-row defensive position.
"The all-conference team is actually based on the players’ performance throughout the whole season," Shull said. "It’s given to players who maintain a good attitude, who work really hard, who are good team players and who have a lot of good skill. The coaches vote on the players, and you can’t vote for your own player."
Jacobson said "next year, we’ll be even better... The season was definitely a fun season. Our team has a lot of skill."
Individual sportsmanship awards went to sophomores Riley Erekson and Alisha Young in Ketchikan.
"The girls are ready to step it up and be a definite contender next year, but that will take some extra effort and training to get there," said coach Judy Erekson.
Shull said the Glacier Bears will miss senior Abby Jones, an all-academic performer who is "someone who has really tried to encourage the girls to see themselves as a stronger team."
"How to keep the mental game strong is what we’re going to be focused on next year," Shull said.