Glacier Bears volleyball team places sixth at home regional tournament


November 24, 2021

Lori Giddings

Haines Glacier Bear Willow Oakley blocks a Petersburg Viking hit during the Region V tournament in Haines on Saturday.

The Glacier Bears volleyball team placed sixth at the home regional tournament on Sunday. Haines will not advance to the state tournament.

The Bears were seeded seventh in the tournament. They faced Wrangell, the second seed, on Nov. 19 at 10 p.m. Wrangell took an early lead, outscoring the Bears 11-3. Haines lost the first set 25-16.

The teams traded leads throughout the second set. The Bears gained momentum as senior Kiersten Long's serves helped her team score four straight points. The Bears won the second set 25-21 after two hard serves from senior Willow Oakley.

Wrangell kept a steady lead throughout the third set and won 25-17.

Wrangell took an early lead in the fourth set, outscoring the Bears 7-0. Wrangell extended their lead to 19-6. The Bears needed to win the set to give them a chance to win the match. Oakley helped the team come back after scoring 14 straight points off of serves. The Bears won the set 25-21.

The Bears went up 5-1 in the fifth set. Wrangell came back to tie the set at 5. Wrangell kept their momentum and scored 9 straight points. Wrangell won the game after winning the fifth set 15-6.

Haines then entered the losers' bracket. They faced Skagway, the sixth seed, on Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. The Bears maintained a lead throughout the first set and won 25-17.

Skagway led the second set until Oakley served four consecutive points off of serves. Oakley helped the team take their first lead of the set. Junior Grace Godinez-Long helped the team extend the lead after scoring eight straight points off of serves. Skagway came back to tie the set at 24. The Bears won the second set 27-25 after Kiersten Long's serve went undefended.

The Bears led the third set 13-3 when Skagway called a timeout. The Bears then extended their lead and won the third set 25-12. Haines defeated Skagway in three straight sets to advance to the next game.

The Bears faced Petersburg, the fourth seed, at 6 p.m. The teams stayed within two points of one another throughout the first set. Senior Natalie Jobbins helped Haines take the first lead of the set after four successful serves. Petersburg came back to tie the game at 15. Petersburg won the first set 25-20.

Petersburg led 8-1 in the second set. Petersburg maintained their lead to win the second set 25-18.

The Bears needed to win the third set to give them a chance of winning the game and staying in the tournament. Petersburg kept a steady lead throughout the third set and 25-16 to eliminate Haines from the tournament.

For seniors Oakley, Jobbins, and Long, this was their last high school volleyball tournament. The seniors noted that, while they're disappointed they didn't win regionals and advance to state, they're happy with the season.

Lori Giddings

Kiersten Long bumps the volleyball against Petersburg Saturday in the Haines school gym.

"Being a senior," said Jobbins, "I'm sad of the outcome (of regionals). But we played our hardest and I'm so proud and happy to be a part of this team. Despite the fact that we may not have ended the season where we wanted, we still ended in a good place. We worked our butts off and I'm so proud to be a Glacier Bear."

Long said she couldn't have asked for a better senior season. "My last season for volleyball played out very well," said Long. "I saw a lot of improvements, not just in myself or in other players, but in the team. The team did amazing this season and we've come a long way as players and people. We weren't just friends on the court, we were a family."

The championship games were held Sunday. Klawock won the tournament with Wrangell placing second. Both teams will represent Southeast at the state tournament.


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