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Volleyball season off to fast start for opening week

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 7:48 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Volleyball started this week with the Region VI programs battling it out on the courts. Some teams got off to fast starts, while others can’t seem to get the ball to bounce their way.

The West Valley Wolfpack sprinted out of the gates in Fairbanks after a pair of wins. On August 25, the Wolfpack took on the Monroe Catholic Rams at Boileau Hall. West Valley battled back-and-forth with the Rams, receiving gritty performances from Pam Noll and Sklyer Wolf. In the end, the Wolfpack won in a five-set thriller to kick off the 2020 season.

West Valley walks off the court after taking a set against Monroe.
West Valley walks off the court after taking a set against Monroe.(Aaron Walling/KTVF/August 25, 2020)

On Wednesday, the Wolfpack played a back-to-back against the Hutchison Hawks. West Valley dominated Hutch in a three-set sweep thanks to 27 aces on the night.

“It feels good this year, we have a lot of new girls and they’re doing really good, they’re carrying their weight really well,” said West Valley’s Risa Heinrichs. “I love watching them play, it is so exciting to see them get kills and cheer for them and stuff.”

West Valley celebrates after sweeping the Hutchison Hawks.
West Valley celebrates after sweeping the Hutchison Hawks.(Aaron Walling/KTVF/August 26, 2020)

Hutch looked to bounce back from their match against West Valley by taking on the Lathrop Malemutes on Thursday. However, the Hawks had no answer for Lathrop in their three-set loss to the Malemutes. T.T. Tagovailoa led Lathrop with eight kills while Rachel Powers chipped in eight assists.

Lathrop on the sideline during a stop in the action.
Lathrop on the sideline during a stop in the action.(Jordan Rodenberger/KTVF/ August 27, 2020)

On the same night, the North Pole Patriots held their first match by hosting Monroe. Monroe was coming off a five-set thriller against West Valley, and they fought back to force a fifth set against the Patriots. The Rams even held a lead in the final frame, but after a North Pole timeout, the Patriots went on a 8-1 run to close out the night with a win.

North Pole celebrates after winning a close five-set winner over the Monroe Catholic Rams.
North Pole celebrates after winning a close five-set winner over the Monroe Catholic Rams.(Aaron Walling/KTVF/August 27, 2020)

“Pretty important,” said North Pole’s Ainsley Smith on being able to play her senior year. “It all ties into wanting to go to college volleyball and just to have our final year together because we all played together for years since we were in middle school and this is a big year for me and Kinley [Erickson].”

“It was pretty difficult we’re trying to get back to where we were at the end of last season winning regionals and just coming back together as a team after not playing together was pretty difficult but I think we’re getting there.” said North Pole’s Kinley Erickson.

Delta-Junction High School is set to make their first appearance in Fairbanks when they visit the Lathrop Malemutes at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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