ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - State volleyball tournament action was in full swing at the Alaska Airlines Center this past week, with no shortage of impressive performances from some of Alaska's elite high schoolers.
The Dimond Lynx won their fourth straight 4A state volleyball title Saturday, defeating West in three straight, hard-fought sets.
The West Eagles had battled it out with the South Wolverines to get out of the loser's bracket, winning in five sets for the chance to face the three-time defending state champions.
In the final, West started out hot in the first two sets, taking commanding leads early, but the Lynx have been successful all season at wearing teams down and extending plays. Slowly but surely, the Eagles watched a lead in each set dwindle before disappearing, with Dimond ending up claiming its fourth consecutive state title.
"It feels amazing. It feels really good," said Dimond senior Mia Eckstrand through happy tears. "That I could do it with all of my best friends, and make history, we owe it to our coach.
"I think that it all, in the end, we owe it all to her," she said. "It's everything, it's all Kim Lauwers."
In the 3A tournament, the Nikiski Bulldogs forced a winner-take-all, first-to-30 match against Valdez. Nikiski took the win over the defending state champions, winning 30-22. The Bucaneers had won the elimination game in four sets to get to that point, but the Bulldogs refused to let that hinder their game plan and came out roaring.
"This is state. You either play or you go home so we decided to play and take it all," Nikiski junior Kaycee Bostic said.