Wrangell team places 2nd in middle school volleyball tournament

One of Wrangell's two teams placed second in the Stikine Middle School Invitational Volleyball Tournament, losing to Klawock in the final, while a Petersburg team took first place in the other bracket after defeating a different squad from Klawock.

The two-bracket competition of 13 teams from middle schools across Southeast was held at the Wrangell high school and community center gyms on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13.

The teams included two from Wrangell, one from Craig, one from Metlakatla, two from Klawock, two from Ketchikan and five from Petersburg. The teams competed in separate brackets, A and B, that played round robins on Friday to determine the bracket order for Saturday.

"It was fantastic," said Shelley Powers, who coached Wrangell's B team that won second place. "It's one of the biggest tournaments we've had since before COVID, and I feel like it was a success."

Brian Herman coached Wrangell's A team in the single-elimination tournament on Saturday, where they lost their first game. "We were bummed that the A team didn't make it further," Powers said.

Both Powers and Herman said the standouts of the B team were seventh graders Evelyn Gadd and Kaiya Roher. Powers praised Evelyn's leadership and consistent all-around play, while Kaiya helped support the sixth graders and had great passing and serving.

"We're pretty excited with how the B team did," Herman said. "They're playing so well."

Herman said most of the teams were evenly matched, but Petersburg's A team excelled. "They played the best volleyball of any team at the tournament."

Herman was thankful to the borough's parks and recreation department for providing the community center gym to make the tournament possible with so many teams. "We did not have the (school) gym space available," he said. "That's the only way we were able to bring in this many teams."

Herman set up the entire tournament, coordinating all the teams and setting up the brackets, while Powers handled communications for the teams and worked with parents and community members to meet their other needs, adding that they came together to make meals for the teams every night.

Powers said they will probably do this again next year. "If we do this again, we'll need a little help," she said. "Brian and I were running around like crazy."


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