Five Western Alaska Teams Compete at States, Fall Short of the Championship

Mix Six Volleyball teams from Golovin and Shishmaref were joined by teams from Buckland, St. Mary’s, and Alakanuk at the state tournament from December 5th to 7th. Golovin and Shishmaref reached states by taking the top two spots in the Bering Strait School District Mix Six Regional Tournament.

The Shishmaref Northern Lights lost their first two games to be eliminated from state competition. Alakanuk Coach John Ayunerak explains that his team was in that same situation against Tanalian and then Thorne Bay.

“When we played out first two games, they were pretty close, but we were out the first two games.”

– John Ayunerak

Golovin had better luck, however, moving on to the second day, even after losing two sets to one against Thorne Bay. Day two saw the Lynx beat Akiuk before losing to the state runner-up Gustavus High School. Day two also saw a one and one Buckland team beat St. Mary’s and Thorne Bay before eventually losing two to zero against Nikolaevsk.

No teams from Western Alaska moved on to day three however, as the mix six tournament ended with Tanalian being crowned this year’s state champions.

Image at top: Evan Oliver tips it past Ed Kokeok during the Mix Six Tournament. Photo from Irving Ashenfelter (2019), used with permission.