The Haines volleyball team came up one win short of a state tournament berth, falling twice to Mount Edgecumbe at last weekend’s regional tournament in Juneau.
"If we were going to go to state, we were going to have to beat teams that were maybe even a little better than us," said assistant coach Liana Shull.
The fourth-seeded Glacier Bears opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Sitka. Haines then took the first game from Mount Edgecumbe, but the Lady Braves won the next three for the match victory.
Next, Haines topped Wrangell, 3-0, and edged Craig, 3-2, to earn a rematch with Mount Edgecumbe, but the Glacier Bears again lost, 1-3. Mount Edgecumbe and Petersburg advanced to state.
Coach Judy Erekson said Haines might have had better odds against Petersburg, which upset Mount Edgecumbe early at the regional, but both teams were formidable.
"Pick your poison: Edgecumbe or Petersburg," she said.
The Lady Braves ended up defeating Petersburg twice in a row to claim the overall title.
The Glacier Bears lose seniors Brook Cinocco, Anna Jacobson, Teolani Lynch, Amey and Ashley Messerschmidt and Elizabeth Stevens from a team Shull said "brought volleyball to a new level here in Haines."
"The team had high expectations going into the season, because we were a seasoned team," Shull said.
Haines was without junior Riley Erekson for much of the weekend due to illness.
Amey Messerschmidt and Stevens earned all-conference honors.
"Elizabeth and Amey both were recognized for their volleyball skills, their contribution to the program overall, their attitude and commitment to the team and to the community," Shull said.
Cinocco and junior Samantha Lowe received sportsmanship awards, and all six seniors were all-academic performers.
Shull credited Ashley Messerschmidt’s setting this season, Cinocco’s serving and back-row play, Lynch’s pounding spikes and Jacobson’s intensity as strong examples for upcoming varsity athletes.