Unalaska girls volleyball team takes third at regionals, finishes season strong
While they came close to qualifying, the Unalaska girls volleyball team won’t be heading to the state tournament this year. They finished up their season at Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage last weekend, after coming in third place against five other teams at regionals.
With just one teammate who has ever traveled to the regional tournament, Head Coach Rachel Peter said she’s proud of the athletes for making it as far as they did.
“I thought they played incredibly hard,” Peter said. “They battled through a lot of adversity. They kept fighting to the very end. We just came up a few points short of making it to state.”
The team was ranked third entering the tournament, and they played four games before going up against Cordova. The winner of that would play for second place and go onto state, but unfortunately, Peter said the team ended up losing by just a few points.
Still, she said having the chance to travel and compete this season was an important highlight for the team and something the athletes look forward to all year. The student athletes didn’t travel last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Peters said she wasn’t sure they’d be able to this season, either.
“I really, truly didn't think we'd be allowed to travel,” she said. “We had a lot of community spread cases, and so, in August, before the season even started, I was just like, ‘There's no way we're traveling — there's just no way.’ And then all of a sudden, we get on a plane, and we're actually on our way.”
After nearly two years without traveling to compete, Peter said she’s impressed with how strong the team played and how quickly they transitioned back into competing.
While they didn’t make it to the state tournament, she said they did leave with several awards, including a sportsmanship award for the entire team.
Seniors Jaydrey Reynon and Vy Huynh were voted onto the all-conference team. Huynh was also voted as the Most Valuable Player for the all-tournament team.
Nikki Amora, Angie Seman and Shanelle Palma made it onto the all-academic team, meaning they held 4.0 GPAs at the end of last year.
Peter was also awarded coach of the year for the region.
There are five seniors graduating from this year’s team, but Peter said quite a few of the younger athletes were able to travel to the regional tournament, and she’s looking forward to carrying that competitive experience into next year.