ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The high-school volleyball season culminated in Saturday’s state championship games, with Dimond facing South for the 4A title and Grace Christian pitted against Mount Edgecumbe in the 3A match.
Dimond’s bid for three straight state titles was blocked only by 19-0 South. The Lynx tried to jump out in the first frame, with Deanna Nielson contributing to an early 3-1 Dimond lead. As the score reached 23-19 Dimond, a strong Lynx defense with blocks by Kristi Lauwers and Abby Pacolt secured a win in the frame.
After Dimond won the second game the Wolverines was on the ropes and Lauwers kept them there, as the Lynx three-peated for the title with a surprise sweep over South.
In the 3A title game, Grace Christian hoped to finish off a perfect season against Mount Edgecumbe. The Grizzlies’ serve made all the difference in Game 1, with Megan Barnes making an ace to finish it 25-14.
The following frame was a closer contest, with Grace up 25-24 in the game’s final moments. Hitter Brook Leadbetter gave her squad a two-point advantage for a second Grizzlies win, 26-24.
The Braves tried to keep their season alive in Game 3, as Christen Johanson found a little floor and pulled the game within one point. But with a chance to close out the match, Leadbetter came through again as the Grizzlies won the third match and swept Edgecumbe 25-23, capping an undefeated season with Grace’s first small-schools title in 11 years.
“We’re all really good, close friends, and we can tell each other everything -- we’re a really close team,” said Grace setter Nicole Weisenfelder.
“It's an unbelievable feeling,” Leadbetter said. “We've worked hard this season, it's just unbelievable; it's amazing.”
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