The Haines volleyball team closed out its regular season last weekend at home by splitting with Craig.
The Glacier Bears first topped Craig, 3-2, but the visitors claimed a 3-1 win the following night.
"Friday night, we just played consistent, solid, aggressive and confident," said assistant coach Liana Shull. "Saturday night, we didn’t pass or serve-receive. We became tentative and just kind of were playing not to lose."
The matches served as a home finale for Haines seniors Brook Cinocco, Anna Jacobson, Teolani Lynch, Amey and Ashley Messerschmidt and Elizabeth Stevens.
"They got gifts from their teammates," Shull said. "The team all put together money and got them nice, meaningful gifts just to recognize how much they have contributed to the team and the program, in general. The girls are pretty close; they play a lot of sports together."
The varsity next will prepare for the regional tournament in Juneau, Nov. 3-5.
The junior varsity’s season ended with losses to Craig.
"Pretty much, the other team brought their varsity," Shull said. "The first night, the JV wasn’t really able to put things together very well, but the second night, they did a lot better. They got like 20 points (in a game), playing against a much more experienced team."
The younger players will face the challenge of replacing six seniors in the varsity lineup next year.
"The JV was really a building year in terms of basic skill building, and that’s really where they’re at," Shull said. "I saw a lot of improvement throughout the season, and a focus on how to support each other on the court. I think each girl who is on the JV has a good idea of what they can do during the off-season to improve their game and the team’s game."
She said junior Samantha Lowe and sophomores Coral Bauer and Jamie Messerschmidt have moved up to practice with the varsity this week.
"Our approach this next week and a half is ‘what do we need to do to get better?’ because if we don’t get better, the team’s not going to be able to reach their goal of going to state," Shull said.
She said junior Hannah Dobbins was another JV bright spot.
"She started late in the season, but I would like to recognize her, because she tried really hard in practices, brought a good attitude and showed a lot of improvement in a little bit of time," Shull said.
At regionals, though, the Glacier Bears will rely on the experience of a senior-heavy team.
"We’re going into it with confidence, because a lot of the teams that are good, we’ve beaten," Shull said. "We consider ourselves a good team, and a contender to go to state."