Alaska spikers are perfect in opening contests at AWG

Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Big hitters from Juneau spiked the Alaska men's volleyball squad to a 2-0 start Monday on its first day of play at the 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Team Alaska - featuring seven players from Juneau - beat a tough Yukon squad 26-24, 27-25, 22-25, 25-19 to open competition Monday, and later in the day Alaska swept Nunavut 25-10, 25-16, 25-22.

In an e-mail from the Games, coach Phil McMurray of Juneau said local players Collin Rielly, Bryan Diebels and Dmitriy Stepanov all played a big role in the win over Nunavut with "awesome" spikes. Rielly posted six kills, two blocks and two aces in the Nunavut match, while Peterson had four kills and a block. Diebels of Juneau had three kills and was chosen as Team Alaska's game MVP by the Nunavut players.

Statistics were not available for the Yukon match, but McMurray reported that Juneau's Evan Thibodeau made some excellent serves to win crucial points in the close contest.

Juneau's Brett Rielly and Robby Hickok are also on the team. The round-robin portion of the competition continues through Thursday.

The Alaska women's volleyball team - including Juneau's Julie Heard - also jumped out to a 2-0 record with straight-set wins over Yukon (25-9, 25-21, 25-16) and Nunavut (25-5, 25-5, 25-9). Statistics were not available for the first match, but Heard played two games of the Nunavut match and recorded three digs, a block and an ace.

In other sports Monday:

• Juneau's Margaret Sekona scored two goals to lead the Alaska juvenile female indoor soccer team to a 5-0 win over Northwest Territories. The team is now 2-0 at the Games.

• Greta Thibodeau of Juneau scored a goal as the Alaska intermediate female indoor soccer team beat Alberta North 3-0. Alaska is now 2-0 and has not allowed a goal in the Games.

• Monica Daugherty of Juneau scored a goal for the Alaska junior female indoor soccer team in its 4-0 win over Greenland. Daugherty's team has a perfect 2-0 record.

• Alaska's juvenile male indoor soccer team - featuring Juneau's Colin Flynn - tied Nunavut 2-2. No results were available from Monday's junior male indoor soccer game between Alaska and Yukon.

• Sitka's Keith Stedman scored 10 points as the Alaska men's basketball team beat Magadan 85-28 to open play. Stedman had 12 points in Monday's late game as Alaska beat Nunavut 79-56.

Also, Juneau table tennis players Ryan Hart and Eric Pak won bronze medals on Sunday with their 3-2 round-robin record in the junior team table tennis competition. The medals are in the shape of ulus, the traditional knife of the arctic.

The Arctic Winter Games - a combination of sports and cultural events - are held every two years. They are open to young athletes from Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, several Siberian Russian regions and far northern Scandinavia.

Thirty-seven Southeast Alaska athletes, coaches and team officials are participating in the 2004 Games. Southeast athletes are competing in volleyball, basketball, gymnastics and snowshoeing.

Due to some technical difficulties in Fort McMurray, final results for some sports - like snowshoeing - were not available by press time. They will be included in a future issue of the Juneau Empire.

For updated scores and results, visit the Arctic Winter Games Web site at

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