Cordova spikers 4th at state, win sportsmanship award

The Cordova Lady Wolverines proudly display their Sportsmanship Award at the State 2A tournament in Anchorage on December 1, 2018. Abby Bourgeois and Riley Butler are wearing their All-Tournament medals, and Butler is holding her Best Hitter Award. Front Row, L-R: Abby Bourgeois, Riley Butler, Edrea Navarro, Jieller Tabara, Aailyah Malazo and Manager Marco Giron. Back Row: Coach Janelle Greenwood, Gwethalyn Jacob, Andrea Vargas, Cali Sjostedt, Inga Arvidson, Alana Esguerra and Alana Esguerra. Photo courtesy of Kate Williams

The Cordova Lady Wolverines placed fourth at the State 2A Volleyball tournament in Anchorage last weekend. The three-day double-elimination championships were interrupted by the 7.0 earthquake on Friday, Nov. 30.

Playing in five-match format at Dimond High on Thursday, Nov. 29, Cordova opened the action with a 3-1 victory over Dillingham by game scores of 25-18, 25-21, 23-25 and 25-13. Later that day, CHS fell to defending State champs Craig 3-1, by scores of 20-25, 25-21, 23-25 and 19-25.

Because of damage to Dimond High and elsewhere as a result of the earthquake early Friday, the second round of the tournament scheduled for that day was cancelled. Fortunately, Anchorage Christian School escaped harm, so all the matches were rescheduled at their gym on Saturday, Dec. 1.

However, to fit so many matches into one day, the format was changed to best of three games, rather than five.

Early Saturday, Cordova defeated King Cove 2-1 by scores of 25-15, 18-25 and 19-25, but then was eliminated by eventual tournament winner Glennallen/Kenny Lake 2-1, by scores of 25-18, 15-25 and 9-25.

“Glenny Lake,” as the team formed by a combination of players from Glennallen and Kenny Lake was nicknamed, lost to Craig 3-2 in their first match on Thursday, Nov. 29, and battled back through the loser’s bracket to win five matches on Saturday, defeating Su-Valley in the finals for the 2A title.

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Cordova was honored with the Team Sportsmanship Award. Riley Butler was named the Outstanding Hitter, and both she and Abby Bourgeois were named to the All-Tournament team.

“State weekend was a tough fought battle,” Cordova coach Janelle Greenwood said. “It definitely wasn’t the outcome we had hoped for, but it was a trip none of us will ever forget and we are proud of our season.”

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Dick Shellhorn
Dick Shellhorn is a lifelong Cordovan. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 50 years. In his Cordova Chronicles features, he writes about the history and characters of this Alaska town. Alaska Press Club awarded Shellhorn first place for Best Humor column in 2016 and 2020, and third place in 2017 and 2019. He also received second place for Best Editorial Commentary in 2019. Shellhorn has written two books about Alaska adventures: Time and Tide and Balls and Stripes. Reach him at [email protected].