The Seward volleyball team learned Sunday that it will not play in the Class 3A state tournament Thursday through Saturday at West High in Anchorage.
Saturday at the Southcentral Conference tournament at Homer High School, Seward finished third. Automatic state berths went to the top two, while the Seahawks were eligible for the one at-large berth.
However, Mt. Edgecumbe, the defending Class 3A state champion, did not make it out of the two-team Southeast Conference due to Sitka. The Braves kept the Seahawks from a second straight state berth.
“It’s a heartbreak for all of us,” Seward coach Jodi Kurtz, who was the conference’s coach of the year, wrote in a text message. “We did have a great season. And I’m very proud of all of my girls. They are one great group of girls.”
The difference between the top three teams in the Southcentral Conference was razor-thin. Seward came into the tournament seeded second, after finishing 9-3 like No. 3 seed Grace Christian but winning the tiebreaker. However, in the semifinals, and state play-in game, the Grizzlies beat the Seahawks 25-20, 25-19, 17-25, 17-25, 15-11.
Grace then defeated Nikiski, which had been undefeated in the conference, 27-25, 24-26, 18-25, 25-22, 15-11 in the championship.