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Palmer sweeps weary Lathrop spikers

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Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:13 am | Updated: 11:52 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS—Three matches in three days caught up with the Lathrop High School volleyball team on Thursday.

The Malemutes were swept 25-17, 25-12, 25-17 by the Palmer Moose in a regular season-ending, nonconference contest at Ryan Middle School.

“It showed today, they started to look tired,” Lathrop head coach Joe Donoghue said by telephone Thursday night.

“We had two really long matches against North Pole and West Valley, and it was a really long set (match) against West Valley of more than three hours,” Donoghue added. “It’s been nonstop for us since last weekend.”

The Malemutes were involved in the Dimond-Service Tournament in Anchorage last weekend before they played Mid Alaska Conference matches at North Pole Tuesday and at West Valley Wednesday. Lathrop lost in four sets to North Pole and rallied for a five-set win over West Valley.

Lathrop encountered a Palmer squad with a faster attack than the Malemutes are accustomed.

“We held our own pretty well,” Donoghue said. “We were consistently getting our blocks there , as we did against West Valley. Usually, we’ve had good blocks one night and then we’d fall off the next night.”

Freshman middle blocker Ruthie Hebard led Lathrop with seven kills and four total blocks, including three solo. Christine Angell provided four kills and two solo blocks.

Lathrop also got two aces from Cali Hoyos, one ace from Yvonne Sam, three kills from Abigail Brice and a solo block from Dahnina Matautia.

The Malemutes ended the regular season at 4-12 overall and 2-4 Mid Alaska Conference.

They’re off until a Nov. 2 match against the second-seeded North Pole Patriots in the conference tournament at West Valley. The winner plays the top-seeded and host Wolfpack the next night for the tournament title and a berth in the Class 4A state tournament on Nov. 8-10 in Wasilla.

“It’s nice to be actually taking a break tomorrow,” said Donoghue, “and then we’re going to have four solid practices before head into the region tournament.”

Palmer visit North Pole at 6 tonight and plays at West Valley at noon Saturday.

Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.

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