Junior high volleyball team has short but successful season

The 2020 Cordova Junior High Volleyball team. Front, from left, Katie Pallas, Brooklyn DeCook, Sophie Reid, Arianna Jeppson-Bolin, Ingrid Fritsch and Ellie Carpenter. Back, from left, Tanneka DeCook, Holly West, Samantha Eleshansky Villalon, Ricki Reilly, Yagnnesis Mejias, Jheryel Itliong, Elizabeth Heidbrink, Samaya Thomas Faber and Maggie Herschleb. Not pictured, Anika Jensen and Allison Ritter. Photo by Sue Shellhorn/for The Cordova Times

Cordova’s Junior High Volleyball team played no games at home this year, due to ferry issues, yet they had a very successful season.

After several weeks of early morning practices, Coach Liz Collins invited the players’ families to CHS on Feb. 8, so her squad, consisting of girls from grades 6 through 8, could play an hour of two-on-two matches, followed by four matches between mixed squads of mothers and daughters.

“Two-on-two is very challenging,” Collins said. “But it gave everyone a chance to see just how much these girls learned and improved in a very short time.”

“The six-on-six matches were a lot of fun, and the mothers discovered just how hard the game can be,” Collins added.

Cordova traveled to Glennallen for their first and only games of the year on Feb. 14 and 15.

“Since we have a fairly young team, we played in the B Team Bracket of round-robin play,” Collins said. “We played some close games and ended up coming out with seven wins and one tie. They proved that they could have competed in the A bracket.”


A total of 17 girls came out for the team, and 14 of them will be back next year.

“I am already looking forward to watching these girls compete next year,” Collins said. “Their dedication to the sport, as well as to each other, is an inspiring thing to watch.”

Not surprisingly, Collins expressed her concerns about the impact of the ferry schedule on the volleyball program.

“I am really hoping we can get some resolution with the ferry situation, and the team will have the opportunity to play against other teams in front of their friends and families next year,” said Collins, a former CHS standout. “I personally know how special it is to play home games, as well as have the opportunity to travel with a team.”

“Each year I find myself so impressed with the talented, strong, hard-working and kind group of girls that come out for this sport,” Collins said. “I am confident with the returning numbers we will continue to have a strong junior high volleyball program in the upcoming years.”