Southeast Alaska Juniors win division at volleyball tourney

The Southeast Alaska Juniors — essentially made up of the 2011 edition of the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears volleyball team — competed in last week’s Volleyball Festival in Phoenix, Ariz., winning the Character Division.

The Volleyball Festival featured 533 teams, more than 6,000 players and 2,000 coaches representing several countries. There were 80 volleyball courts set up in the Phoenix Convention Center for the annual event the Southeast Alaska Juniors have attended for the last 20 years.

The team competed in 16 matches during the week, winning four. Coaches Dale Bontrager and Pat Gorman both agreed that of all the teams they have taken to the tournament over the years, this year’s edition improved and learned the most after playing against some of the top teams in the entire country.

Juneau-Douglas senior-to-be Taylor Vidic sang the national anthem during the tournament’s opening ceremony at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The squad also joined other Alaskan teams in carrying the state flag into the opening ceremony, a first for the Southeast Juniors.

You can view Vidic’s rendition the anthem on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je7Y-0sm2hM.

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