Petersburg players pose with Skagway team and coaches. Submitted photo

By Jeff Brady

The Skagway High volleyball team did not win any matches at last weekend’s southern seeding tournament in Klawock, but they took a couple of teams to the brink.

Head coach Aaron Schmidt said the team played six matches in two days and came close to getting a pair of wins, battling Haines and Metlakatla to five games.

“But the record of wins and losses hardly tells the real story,” he said in an e-mail. “The nine student-athletes who came on the trip played bravely and never once quit. Their extraordinary courage and effort continue to win the hearts of other teams, coaches, referees, and community members.”
Schmidt said that during their final match, a 0-3 loss against the home team, the cheers of other players for Skagway drowned out even the Klawock fans. Then, the entire Petersburg team ran out and lined up to give Skagway high-fives and asked to pose for a picture.

“Lots of teams win matches. Lots of teams win championships; it happens in every region, in every state, each and every year. What happened last week was extraordinary,” he said, noting that the team is “beginning to believe that they can be champions every time they walk into the gym when they play for each other and play with all their hearts.”

This year’s team consists of: seniors Hailey Jensen, Sienna Johnson, Kiara Selmer, and Delaney Rau; juniors Kara Whitehead, Mocha Lahrman and Lily Goebel; sophomores Madison Cox and Sahara Kilic; freshmen Jessica Whitehead and Jenny Hansen; and eighth graders Iraida Hisman and Asya Kilic.

The Panthers will travel to Haines this weekend and then return home for the north seeding tournament Nov. 11-12.