The Nikolaevsk Warriors came back from an earlier loss to Tanalian Lynx to to capture the Mix Six state volleyball championship Saturday night at Dimond High.
The Warriors eked out a 30-28 victory in the if-necessary game of the 10-team, double-elimination tournament.
It’s the first state championship in the sport for Nikolaevsk, a town on the Kenai Peninsula. To claim it, they had to take down a Tanalian team that won titles in 2019 and 2018.
Nikolaevsk and Tanalian met three times on Saturday, and each time it was close.
In the first match between the two, an afternoon winners’ bracket game, Tanalian won in five sets to clinch a spot in the championship match.
The loss put Nikolaevsk in a loser-out match against Gustavus, where the Warriors prevailed in two sets to earn a spot in the title game and another shot at Tanalian. Nikolaevsk won 3-2 to force the if-necessary showdown, a single set to 30 points.
Three players from Nikolaevsk were named to the all-tournament team -- Justin Trail, Konstantin Fefelov and Krystyana Kalugin.
Tanalian, which is in Port Alsworth, had four players on the all-tournament team -- Daniel Wardell, Caleb Alsworth, Isaac Fowler and Malea Voran.
The Mix 6 tournament involves co-ed teams from Alaska’s smallest schools. It’s usually held in December but was postponed to the spring this school year because of COVID-19.
ASAA/First National Bank Mix 6 volleyball
Kayden Ticket, Buckland
David Shatswell, Gusatvus
Amory Byrd, Kalskag
Justin Trail, Nikolaevsk
Daniel Wardell, Tanalian
Caleb Alsworth, Tanalian
Konstantin Fefelov, Nikolaevsk
Isaac Fowler, Tanalian
Malea Voran, Tanalian
Timary Stenek, Shishmaref
Krystyana Kalugin, Nikolaevsk
Sharion Bohlke, Gustavus