Photos courtesy Tina Howard
ADN – As deafening cheers for Barrow rang off the walls of the West High gymnasium throughout Saturday’s Class 3A state volleyball championship match, the Valdez Buccaneers just looked at each other and smiled.
The Buccaneers used the pro-Barrow crowd as motivation to sweep the Whalers 25-16, 25-21, 25-13 and claim their second state title in three years.
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Volleyball – State Tournament: Coach Ron Langseth
The Lady Bucs Volleyball team had what many consider the weekend of a lifetime! For the 12 Ladies sporting Black, Blue and White it may be considered a dream come true…from this coaches perspective it was simply the result of hard work, dedication and a positive look at what can happen when a group sets a goal. And now for these twelve…they can call themselves CHAMPIONS! STATE CHAMPIONS! Nine days into this seasons practice coach Langseth met and said to this group that he had a feeling that this could happen…that they could become the Alaska State Champions…that was the same day senior Linnea Langseth broke her ankle…that along with Bobbi Mott already out with an ACL injury was simply a setback to say the least. Through the leadership of the one remaining senior, Kaylee MAcDonald the young Buc team persevered and prospered. Fast forward to the State Tournament, and Senior Setter MacDonald now with a full team and ready to peak arrived at the ASAA State Tournament. MacDonald along with Langseth, Mott and Carlee Fleming were in familiar territory, as they are the remaining crew from the 2015 title team. Ready and poised the Bucs under their senior leadership pounced early, dispatching the Nikiski Bulldogs 3-1, winning 25-14, 11-25, 25-13, 25-12. Next was the defending state champs the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves. Again the Bucs stayed focused and put away the Braves in three straight sets. 25-22, 25-17, 25-23. On to the Championship Bracket were the ladies faced a formidable Grace Christian school. Again the ladies prevailed winning 3-1. 25-18, 25-11, 25-15, 15-25, 25-14. In the Championships the strong Lady Bucs would face the hard hitting Barrow Whalers. In front of packed house at West Anchorage, the Valdez Ladies proved they were the team to beat ousting the Whalers in three. Valdez would not be outdone. 25-16, 25-21, 25-13. AND NOW STATE CHAMPIONS!
ASAA Committee Selections for Player of the Game:
Nikiski Game- Linnea Langseth
Mt. Edgecumbe Game- Bobbi Mott
Grace Game – Ally Seiber
Barrow Game- Linnea Langseth
ASAA All State Selections:
All State Players, Bobbi Mott, Sydnee Johnson, Linnea Langseth
Most Valuable Server 3A- Linnea Langseth
Kaylee MacDonald, Bobbi Mott, and Ally Seiber awaiting serve