Soldotna’s Jolie Wildaman receives a serve during the first day of the Northern Lights Conference Championships on Thursday at Palmer High School. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)

Soldotna’s Jolie Wildaman receives a serve during the first day of the Northern Lights Conference Championships on Thursday at Palmer High School. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)

SoHi volleyball ends season at NLC tourney

Staff report

The Soldotna volleyball team ended its season with a 3-1 loss to Wasilla on Friday at the Northern Lights Conference tournament at Palmer High School.

Wasilla, the No. 4 seed at the tournament, defeated the Stars, the No. 5 seed, 25-18, 16-25, 25-21 and 25-23. The match moves the Warriors to the Class 4A state tournament.

“I feel like we won tonight anyway,” Soldotna coach Luke Baumer said. “The way these girls played was everything us as coaches wanted to see. We knew they had this in them.

“Everybody — the players, the parents — are happy with how we played, but sad we didn’t get the win. This was the best match we played all season long.”

For the first time all season, Baumer said every hitter had more kills than attacking errors.

Soldotna had swept Wasilla in the first round Thursday, but Baumer said the Warriors played a great match Friday. He said the Stars were able to contain the damage from middle and outside hitters, but that Wasilla’s opposite hitter stepped up and took advantage.

Chloe Armstrong had 13 kills for the Stars, while Katelyn Morrison had 12 kills, 22 digs and three aces. Emma Brantley had 25 assists, Aleena Zener had 23 digs, Jolie Widaman had three aces, Regan Hunt had three blocks and Adarra Hagelund had two blocks.

Baumer said the team graduates six seniors and they will be missed. The coach said it meant a lot to his team that the gym was cheering for SoHi in the Friday match.

“That’s a huge step in the right direction for SoHi,” he said. “We want to be a team that’s really good sports no matter what. We were good sports all season and it showed in this region matchup.”

Northern Lights All-Conference Volleyball Awards

Most Outstanding Player — Abby Gooch, Colony.

Coach of the Year — Amy Willis, Kodiak.

First team — Kristen Carstens, Kodiak; Jenna Whisenhurt, Palmer; Vanessa Schachle, Wasilla; Liyah Pilgrim, Colony; Aleena Zener, Soldotna; Bella Hays, Wasilla; Britney Llorente, Kodiak; Riley Thompson, Palmer; Alyvia Davis, Colony.

Honorable mention — Taylee Weiss, Colony; Brynly Crossley, Palmer; Adarra Hagelund, Soldotna; Rylee Pitney, Wasilla; Elan Hilty, Kodiak; Jiselle Blanco, Kodiak; Chloe Armstrong, Soldotna; Katelyn Morrison, Soldotna; Katy Meaney, Palmer; Emmy Brantley, Soldtona; Jordyn Harris, Wasilla.

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