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North Pole sweeps West Valley in three

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Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 11:48 pm

FAIRBANKS — Tina Ferringer couldn’t remember the last time the North Pole High School volleyball team defeated West Valley in a Mid Alaska Conference game.

“Honestly, I don’t know, but it hadn’t been in the four seasons that I’ve coached,’’ the Patriots head coach said.

She won’t forget Tuesday night’s 25-15, 25-19, 25-22 sweep of the Wolfpack in the North Pole gymnasium.

“We’ve been so close, and to finally come out with a win,’’ Ferringer said by telephone Tuesday. “The girls were so excited. Just for them to know that they’re (West Valley) beatable, and it gives us a lot of momentum moving into the regionals in a couple of weeks.”

Junior middle hitter Kayla Ching led the Patriots with 11 kills and a .625 hitting percentage, while senior outside hitter Hannah Sponseller provided six kills to go with team-highs of 11 digs and seven service aces.

Senior setter Ashlynn Mulcare garnered a night-best 23 assists to go with 10 digs, four kills and a .429 hitting percentage. Right-side hitter Taylor Ferber contributed four kills and a .363 hitting percentage for the Patriots, 2-3 in conference play.

North Pole had a week off since its last game and Ferringer said the Patriots focused on serve-receive and pass-receive to prepare for the Wolfpack.

“Our pass receive was 2 out of 3 tonight and we were able to run two options in our serve-receive,’’ she said. “It made a difference in how we were able to run our middle (attack).”

West Valley head coach Dave Cox said it had been five years since the Wolfpack fell to the Patriots. West Valley had entered the night having clinched the conference regular season title and the top seed for the upcoming MAC tournament.

“Maybe that had to do with the way they mentally stepped on the court,’’ Cox said by telephone. “There was no energy, no excitement, no enthusiasm — at least at the level it should have been. They didn’t have that fighting spirit, not even in warmups.”

Junior middle blocker Samantha Crawford and sophomore defensive specialist Jessica Rice each had five kills to lead West Valley. Crawford also had a team-best five blocks and served 12 for 12 with an ace.

Tori Howdehell led the Wolfpack with 20 digs and setter Melissa Spaulding had 16. Courtney Cox had 11 assists to lead West Valley (4-1 conference).

The Wolfpack and Patriots each conference play next week against Lathrop, with North Pole playing host to the Malemutes Tuesday and the Wolfpack playing host to them Wednesday.

All three teams play this weekend in Anchorage in the Dimond-Service Tournament.

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