Nikolaevsk set for Mix Six state tourney

Nikolaevsk set for Mix Six state tourney

The Nikolaevsk volleyball team will open play at the Mix Six state tournament at Dimond High School today after winning the Warriors’ sixth straight Denali Conference tournament on Nov. 17 at Kodiak High School.

The Warriors (12-6 overall) defeated Kodiak Emerging Small Schools 3-2 in the championship match at the conference tournament. This came after a 3-0 win against Anderson and a 3-0 victory against Kodiak ESS got them to the title game.

“The score in the final game was 15-13, so they really pushed us,” Nikolaevsk coach Bea Klaich said.

That’s just fine with Klaich, because the Warriors, who were fourth at state last season and have a top finish of runner-up, can be expected to be pushed at state.

There are three teams in each of the four pools, and only the top two in each pool advance to the Friday and Saturday championship bracket. Pool play consists of two games to 25 against the other two teams.

Nikolaevsk plays Tanalian at 3 p.m. and Unalakleet at 3:50 p.m. Tanalian was third at state last season, while Unalakleet was sixth.

“It’s going to be tough, but we have to make sure we come out of pool play,” Klaich said.

The Warriors lost a pair of matches to Tanalian in mid-October, while scoring a 3-0 victory against Unalakleet that Klaich said was closer than the score indicated.

Klaich said that last season, her squad defeated Point Hope in pool play, but Point Hope went on to win state, so the Warriors have to be ready for anything.

Senior captain Michael Trail was named the MVP of the conference, while junior Zachary Trail got all-tournament team honors. The Warriors also earned the team sportsmanship award.

Nikolaevsk had three make the All-Academic team by having a top-10 grade-point average in the conference — Markiana Yakunin, Sophia Klaich and Myah Monicken.

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