Dimond downs South for CIC volleyball crown

Fueled by 18 kills and 15 digs from All-American Leah Swiss, the Dimond Lynx captured the Cook Inlet Conference volleyball crown Saturday night by dispatching rival South in three straight sets.

Dimond beat South for the second night in a row to claim the conference’s top seed for the state tournament, which begins Thursday at Chugiak. South is the CIC’s No. 2 seed.

The Lynx swept South 25-17, 25-19, 25-12 one night after needing five sets to subdue the Wolverines and advance to the title match.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Dimond coach Kim Lauwers said of the finale at Service High. “We played pretty balanced, which is what we wanted to do, and stayed aggressive.

“South is a fun team to play. I’m really proud of the players.”

Leading the way for Dimond was Swiss, who earlier in the week earned All-America honorable mention honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

But she had plenty of help. Rohyn Huss added seven kills and seven blocks, Cierra Carrigan delivered six kills and three blocks, Chrisalyn Johnson had seven blocks and 10 digs, and setters Jenna Mixson and Allie McDonnell combined for 37 assists and had eight digs apiece.

The defending state champion Lynx ran the table in the CIC regular season and in the region tournament, but Lauwers said the slate will be wiped clean heading into the state tournament.

“We play the match ahead of us,” she said. “Phase One is the regular season, Phase Two is regions, and it’s all out the window now because the state tournament is Phase Three.”

Claiming the conference’s third berth at the state tournament was Chugiak, which upended West 25-19, 25-16, 25-23 in the match that decided which team goes to state.

Chugiak played again after that match, losing 25-17, 25-19, 25-12 to South in the match that determined which team would play Dimond in the championship match.

Dimond advance to the title match Friday with a five-set win over South, dropping the Wolverines into the loser’s bracket.


Cook Inlet Conference 

All-conference team

First team 

Setters — Jenna Mixson, Dimond; Kayla Simms, South. Outside hitters — Leah Swiss, Dimond; Chrisalyn Johnson, Dimond; Holly Morehouse, South. Middle hitters — Rachel Gregg, Chugiak; Rita Dexter, West. Libero — Monique Mojica, Service

Second teeam

Setters — Mafi Makihele, East; Rachel Topf, Chugiak. Outside hitters — Tayleigh Talmadge, Service; Ashley Tua, West; Maria Ipatova, Service. Middle hitters — Morgan Christy, Service; Taria Page, East. Libero — Heidi Andrus, Dimond.

Coach of the Year — Bryan Stenehjem, Service. Team GPA award — South 3.78.