After dropping the first set in the championship game of the Colony C-Team Volleyball Tournament, Kodiak coach Donn Sofranes reminded his players what the goal was — to bring home a title.
“Before the tournament started, I huddled the team and reminded them what they came here for and what they’ve been practicing,” Kodiak coach Donn Sofranes wrote in a text message.
“The goal is to win all games and to never lower their standards and level of playing, whenever and whoever we are playing against.”
Kodiak’s C team — known as Baby Blue — did just that.
The Bears upended Wasilla 20-25, 25-17, 15-7 to claim the tournament title Saturday at Colony High.
“The team still can’t believe we’ve won the championship,” Sofranes wrote in a text message. “I never doubted them. I am always telling them to trust each other, play as a team, apply what we practice, and most especially, have fun.”
By losing to Palmer and Colony in pool play, Kodiak was seeded fourth in the double-elimination bracket.
The Bears ran the table to the championship game, beating Nikiski 25-17, 25-23 and Colony 25-16, 25-22.
“In spite of the huge height difference, although we are short, Kodiak C-team played with big heart and with only one goal — to win,” Sofranes wrote.
The tournament also featured Houston, Kenai and Valdez.
Kodiak’s roster included Kate Holland, Jasmin Samson, Sheena Baraoidan, Lyka Lacaste, Scarlett Johnson, Teagan Cleary, Mia Suarez, Emmaline Bushell, Abigail Pruitt, Mikylla Madamba, Diane Dela Cruz, Laiza Suralta and Nika Mabanta.
Kodiak’s varsity squad earned one of its best finishes at the West Spiketacular — one of the biggest volleyball tournaments of the season.
The Bears tied with Service for fifth place in the gold bracket. This was Kodiak’s best showing at the West Spiketaculer since 2015 when it lost to Dimond in the gold bracket championship match.
“It was so awesome,” Kodiak coach Amy Willis wrote in a text message.
After sporting a 6-1 record in pool play, the Bears earned a spot in the gold bracket — the best of three brackets played on Saturday.
Kodiak opened with a 21-13, 21-16 victory over Northern Lights Conference rival Palmer, before dropping matches to state power South 21-15, 21-11 and Thunder Mountain 23-25, 25-20, 17-15.
Sophomore libero Britney Llorente sparkled on defense with 80 digs and was placed on the all-tournament team.
Kristen Carstens powered the team with 39 kills, 42 digs and 10 service aces. Elan Hilty added 33 kills.
Marielle Mangrobang dished out 48 assists, 34 digs and had 11 aces. Alliah Baisa chipped in 28 assists, 17 digs and 11 aces.
In pool play, Kodiak defeated Chugiak (25-21), Ketchikan (25-19), West Anchorage (25-23), South Anchorage JV (25-18), Nikiski (25-15) and Homer (25-16). The only loss was to Thunder Mountain (25-13).
Dimond topped South in the championship match. Chugiak placed third and Thunder Mountain fifth. Palmer and Colony tied for seventh.
West Anchorage won the silver bracket and Soldotna topped Wasilla in the bronze bracket.
Kodiak is off this week before resuming play with an NLC showdown at Colony Oct. 1-2.