The Glacier Bears volleyball team treated its home fans to long rallies, good hustle, and very close games against Skagway last weekend.

On both Friday and Saturday nights, a fifth-set tiebreaker was needed to determine a winner. In harmony with a series of games that rarely saw either team get a significant lead at any time, Skagway won both fifth-set tiebreakers by scores of 15-13.

On Friday, Haines went 25-13, 21-25, 25-17, 21-25 and 13-15 in its games. On Saturday, the Glacier Bears posted 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 13-25 and 13-15 scores.

The pair of losses drops Haines’ record this season to 2-6 in 2A Region 5 conference play and 3-7 overall.

Bozhi Sebens, a senior and defensive captain, noted that because the score was always close, each small mistake was amplified.

“We had some moments of playing really good, but we need to work on the small mistakes we were making, especially trusting the back-row players to get to balls that are over the front line’s heads. We got ourselves out of position sometimes and that probably cost us a few points we should have won,” Sebens said.

Sebens added, “Skagway definitely played really good both nights, and I think we weren’t really expecting that. We were kind of expecting to go out there and do what we do and get a win. I think it shows us that we have to stay focused and not rely on what has happened in the past.”

Jordan Stigen, a senior and offensive captain, added that despite communication errors between front and back line players, “we played some of our best ball this weekend (as a team) but there were some small things that we can easily fix.”

The weekend also marked the return of head coach Cassie Miller to the bench after being away for maternity leave. Miller agreed with Sebens’ and Stigen’s assessment about communication errors.

“Communication errors can make or break a game, and they definitely broke ours. It appeared that we had some less experienced girls deferring to some of the older players and assuming they would go get the ball. But, when they didn’t, no one got the ball. We’ve got to work on that,” Miller said.

Miller added: “I was pleasantly surprised by where the girls are and with their skill level. They played hard, hustled and their serves were really strong. We could improve our passing but, for the most part, passes were going to where we wanted them and did set up scoring opportunities. We’ve got a long way to go. But I think the pieces are in place for something good, and that’s a testament to the hard work Keri Ewing and Alixanne Goodman have put into coaching while I’ve been away.”

In the junior varsity match, Haines won 25-10, 25-9 and 25-8.

The girls’ next action is at the Skagway Seeding Tournament on Nov. 11-12.