FAIRBANKS—The Palmer Moose put a damper on North Pole’s senior night festivities, sweeping the Patriots 25-20, 25-18, 25-15 in a nonconference, regular season-ending high school volleyball match.
“It was a quick flow and they had some great hitters, but our defense was really good tonight,” North Pole head coach Tina Ferringer said by telephone.
“We would have competed a little more if we had just cut down on our hitting errors,” Ferringer said of the team’s 18 hitting errors.
In Aurora Conference action Friday, Hutchison swept visiting Glennallen and Valdez won in four sets against Monroe Catholic at Boileau Hall in the opener of a weekend series between the conference’s top two teams.
The Patriots honored their two seniors, outside hitter Hannah Sponseller and setter Ashlynn Mulcare, before the match. The duo contributed against Palmer, as Mulcare produced 13 digs, two kills and two aces, and Sponseller provided nine digs, four kills and two aces.
Maraya Crarft led North Pole with five kills and defensive specialist Andrea Lambert had 10 digs and a 2.2 serve-receive-passing ratio out of a possible 3.0.
The Patriots ended the regular season at 6-10, including a second place record of 3-3 in the Mid Alaska Conference. North Pole faces the third-place Lathrop Malemutes in the opener of the conference tournament at 6 p.m. next Friday at West Valley High School.
The North Pole-Lathrop winner plays the host and first-place Wolfpack for the title at 3 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 3. The Mid Alaska champion advances to the Class 4A state tournament in Wasilla on Nov. 8-10.
The Hutchison Hawks swept 25-15, 25-11, 25-17 against the Glennallen Panthers on senior night for the hosts.
“Every senior had good hits and a great match,” Hawks coach Linda Bode said.
Hutchison was led by senior outside hitter Jessica Speed with eight kills.
Three other seniors contributed for the Hawks (4-5 Aurora, 7-7 overall). Middle hitter Chelsea Roehl had four kills and three blocks; defensive specialist McKenzie Burgess served for five points with three aces; and utility player Yata Davis served for six points with two aces.
Defensive specialist Laurin Fisher was honored among the team’s seniors, who include managers Claire Everts and Maddy Alexander.
Sophomore middle hitter Michaela Heyrend chipped in four blocks and four kills for the Hawks, who meet the Panthers again at noon today in a regular season-ending contest.
The host Monroe Catholic Rams started strongly but fell 19-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-18 to the Valdez Buccaneers.
“We played the first game very well, we mixed up our hits and tried to change things up,” Rams coach Mike Lessley said. “In the last three games, we kind of set back and played basic volleyball, and you’re not going to win games doing that.”
Lessley commended the blocking of the Rams’ Alyssa Norris and Brittany Johnson, and noted Valdez’s aggressiveness.
“Valdez kept us on our toes and kept attacking us, and we just couldn’t get a transition going tonight,” he said.
Valdez, at 8-0 conference, can wrap up the regular-season title by winning today’s match at noon. If Monroe (7-1) wins, a coin toss will be conducted to determine the top seed for next week’s conference tournament at Hutchison.
The coin toss hasn’t been set will be done before the tournament, which runs Thursday through next Saturday.
Norris and Emily Pfister each had 10 kills Friday to lead Monroe (10-2 overall). Norris also led with eight blocks. The Rams got 11 assists from Delainey Stokes, nine assists from Andi Clark and four kills from Marissa King.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.