THE BIG CHECK  - The Arctic Pinkies tournament is a benefit fund raiser and this year the check went to the family of Jens Hildreth. NANOOK FLAG – During a lull in the action courtside the Nanook Flag made a frenzied run around the gym. INTENSITY – Volleyball is a spectator sport and the spectators are often passionate about the game. THE CHAMPS – The Lady Nanooks have won the championship and enjoy a little togetherness on the bench waiting for the awards. SEND IT – Lady Nanook Kastyn Lie serves one up during volleyball action in the Arctic Pinkies Tournament. HIGH AND HARD – Minnie Clark returns the ball with plenty on it Saturday in the Nome-Beltz gym. PINK POWER – Courtney Merchant controls the ball during tournament action Saturday. NANOOK BLUE – Aaron Motis turned blue before the Arctic Pinkies Tournament. TEAM PLAY – The Lady Nanooks in action show good coordination. ONE MORE POINT – The Lady Nanooks enjoy quick celebration after a point and then it’s back to the game.

Lady Nanooks are champions in Arctic Pinkies Tourney

The Nome-Beltz Lady Nanooks volleyball squad took the championship title in last weekend’s Arctic Pinkies Volleyball Tournament in Nome.

They faced tough competition from Kotzebue, Bethel, North Pole and Lathrop and despite a few close calls they dominated the play. In winning the championship at Barrow’s tournament two weeks ago, the Nanooks met Lathrop in the final. Once again they found themselves up against Lathrop in a hard fought title game.

Coach Lena Danner was upbeat about taking on two 4A schools and beating them, the other being North Pole. “We were excited to play both 4A schools just because they are bigger and it means quite a bit for a small school to beat a big school,” she said.

On Friday pool play among the five teams determined the seeding for Saturday’s double elimination bracket. In the final game Nome lost to Lathrop. As it was their first loss of the tournament a single extra set, the “if necessary game” was played and the Lady Nanooks took it. They got to thirty points first and the championship was theirs.

It was the Nanook’s final home game of the season and it was also senior night. The team loses seven players this year to graduation. They are Kastyn Lie, Courtney Merchant, Amber Gray, Athena Hall, Abby Tozier, Erin Johanson, and Teri Ruud.

The Nugget asked Coach Danner about the Nanooks’ steady, consistent play in comparison with the hot and cold play of some of their opponents. “I think sometimes we have a tendency to start slow but we definitely pick back up,” she answered. “The thing about our girls is they don’t get down on each other. No matter what happens no matter what the score is it doesn’t affect how they’re going to play or how they’re going to treat each other.”  

Lathrop coach Kaitlyn Arnold liked the tournament. “I thought the tournament was really well put together, she said. “My girls worked really hard throughout the whole thing.”

“I am so glad that we met with Kotzebue this late in the season because they are much different from when we saw them in the beginning of the season,” said Coach Lena Danner. “This lets us know that we can’t walk into regions thinking ‘We’re automatically going to win. We know we have work to do and the girls will continue to do well.’”

“I was very proud of all the girls,” said assistant coach Stephanie Stang. “It was fun to watch them. They are doing awesome and growing every day.”

Next weekend the Lady Nanooks head to Bethel for a tournament with the home team and Kotzebue. The following weekend are regionals. 


The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

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