The championship match and an if-necessary match took nearly five hours to play, but when the matches were over the Hoonah Braves again wore the Region V-Class 2A volleyball crown following their victory the Klawock Chieftains in a five-game thriller late Saturday night at Klawock High School.
Hoonah, the three-time defending region champion, had been the only undefeated team in the double-elimination tournament entering Saturday's championship match. But Klawock claimed a 16-14, 15-4, 6-15, 2-15, 15-5 victory to force an if-necessary match. Klawock won the first two games of the if-necessary match, but Hoonah came back to claim a 9-15, 8-15, 15-13, 18-16, 15-6 victory. Hoonah also won the team sportsmanship award.
By reaching the championship match, both Hoonah and Klawock earned berths in the Class 1A-2A-3A(West) state tournament Dec. 14-16 at Anchorage's Dimond High School. Hoonah won the state tournament two years ago.
Klawock, which had to battle its way through the losers' bracket, played four matches starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and didn't leave the court until nearly 11 p.m. at night. Klawock swept Skagway 15-7, 15-11, 15-13 and then avenged an earlier loss to Gustavus with a 15-1, 15-2, 15-12 sweep to reach the championship match. The Chieftains only had about two to 2 1/2 hours of rest during those 10 hours.
Hoonah reached the championship match with a 15-13, 15-4, 15-17, 15-1 victory over Gustavus in the semifinals. In earlier matches, Gustavus swept Kake 15-6, 15-2, 15-0 and Hoonah swept Skagway 15-3, 15-10, 15-4 to open the tournament. Gustavus then took five games to beat Klawock 13-15, 15-8, 15-11, 10-15, 15-11. Skagway swept Kake 15-10, 15-13, 15-7 to open losers' bracket play.
Hoonah landed three players on the all-conference team -- Alice Lee, Trissa Barros and Branda Skaflestad. Klawock also had three on the team in Jessica Peters, Bethany Buckingham and Danielle Simpson. Others on the all-conference team were Crissy Farley and Stacey Farley of Gustavus, Kristina Knorr and Ashley Law of Skagway, and Stacy Earnest and Cassandra Martin of Kake.
The great-sport team featured Lee and Amy Wright of Hoonah, Buckingham and Chelsey Loudon of Klawock, Stacy Farley and Kelly Mills of Gustavus, Bethany Hisman and Leah Thomas of Skagway, and Ernest and Roseann Jackson of Kake.
In the skills competitions, Buckingham won the serving title and Skagway's Crystal Ackerman won the passing crown.