Juneau-Douglas High School lost their second match in a row at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Volleyball State Championships on Friday, falling to Colony 25-14, 25-17, 28-26 in the elimination bracket. No statistics were received by press time. The Crimson Bears had lost to Palmer 26-24, 25-19, 27-29, 26-24 to open state tourney play on Thursday.
In elimination games on Friday, Colony lost to Kodiak (25-18, 25-20, 25-17), Chugiak beat West Valley (25-22, 25-11, 25-19), Chugiak topped Palmer (22025, 25-17, 26-24, 22-25, 15-12) and South beat Dimond in the semifinal (17-25, 27-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-13). In Saturday elimination games Kodiak topped Chugiak (25-22, 25-18, 25-22) and Dimond beat Kodiak (25-21, 11-25, 25-15, 25-16) to set up the championship game against South. South won 20-25, 25-17, 25-23 and 25-22 for the title.
The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves lost in the 3A championship to Grace Christian 27-25, 25-14, and 25-21.
“The girls played really hard,” Mt. Edgecumbe coach Rich Calkins said. “Grace is a very good team. It was the most balanced tournament I have seen in a long time. We told our girls that they should be able to walk off the floor knowing they played their best, and that is all we can ask.”
Calkins, 52, is retiring after 12 seasons coaching the Lady Braves, which included six championship games. He will also retire from teaching at Mt. Edgecumbe, a school that attracts students from around the state. This season’s volleyball team had players from Aleknagik, Nome, Dillingham, Tok, Hoonah and Red Devil. With no seniors on this years team the Lady Braves are looking to contend next year.
“The thing I am really going to miss is the watching the girls develop so many friendships with many being so far from their homes,” Calkins said. “It always exciting coaching here. You never know what you get from year-to-year, but at the end they all come together and it is just so fun to watch. That will be the hardest thing about not teaching anymore, being around the kids.”
The Lady Braves advanced to the final by a forfeit on opening day over Barrow, swept Monroe (25-21 25-16, 25-22), lost to Grace in the semifinals (25-22, 25-19, 25-23), and topped Skyview in the loser’s bracket final (25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20).
Grace earned the final by beating Hutchison (25-16, 27-25, 25-17), beating Skyview (25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 25-21), and beating Mt. Edgecumbe in the semifinals and for the title.
The Lady Braves were looking to win their third straight state championship after beating Grace in 2012 and 2011 and losing to the Lions in the 2010 final. The Lady Braves also lost to Cordova in the 2007 and 2005 finals and were runners-up to Valdez in 1993.