The Dimond Lynx battled through the loser’s bracket Saturday to earn a second shot at the team that put them there and then made the most of their second chance.
With tournament MVP Leah Swiss leading the way, Dimond downed Kodiak 25-23, 25-15, 31-29 in the championship match of the Dimond-Service volleyball tournament at Dimond. Swiss provided match point with her 21st kill of the match.
The Lynx played 14 sets in six matches Saturday in the 20-team double-elimination tournament. After going undefeated in Friday’s pool play, Dimond started Saturday with a win over West but then lost to Kodiak, 25-18, 17-25, 15-7.
That sent them to the loser’s bracket, where the Lynx beat East, South and Chugiak to secure the rematch with Kodiak.
“Physically I wasn’t sure if we had the stamina,” Dimond coach Kim Lauwers said. “I’m proud of them for finishing strong.”
Chrisalyn Johnson, who made the all-tournament team for Dimond along with Swiss, supplied 11 kills and 21 digs in the finale, Heidi Andrus came up with 25 digs, Jenna Mixson added 21 assists and nine digs and Allie McDonnell had 16 assists.
Kodiak was led by Hanna Wandersee’s 18 kills and 28 digs. Megan Pyles added 12 kills and 13 digs, and Summer McKechnie handed out 41 assists.
“Kodiak is a very talented team, very experience,” Lauwers said. “And they’re very confident now, because they beat some of our Anchorage teams.”
Chugiak placed third and South fourth in the gold bracket, which featured teams with the best pool-play records from Friday.
In the silver bracket, Mt. Edgecumbe took the champinship with a 25-20, 25-20 win over Wasilla. In the bronze bracket, West Valley stopped Soldotna 25-19, 25-23 for the championship.
“There was some amazing volleyball all throughout,” Lauwers said. “You could tell it’s the end of the year — people are playing great volleyball.
Leah Swiss, Dimond; Chrisalyn Johnson, Dimond; Hannah Wandersee, Kodiak; Megan Pyles, Kodiak; Kayla Sims, South; Holly Morehouse, South; Morgan Christy, Service; Tayleigh Talmadge, Service; Macy Buresh, Palmer; Elliot Perkins, Palmer; Taryn White, Mt. Edgecumbe; Taria Page, East; Rita Dexer, West; Rachel Gregg, Chugiak; Deenaalee Hodgedon, West Valley.