Huskies win 3 of 4 in Bethel, Alaska Tournament
Submitted by BOB BARRETT
The Lady Huskies won three of four contests last Saturday in a tournament in Bethel, Alaska before returning home to beat Grandview in straight sets to jump off to a great 4-1 start.
It took some two years for volleyball coach Steve Parris and Bethel Principal Doug Boyer, a former girls’ basketball coach at Othello, to work out the details but last Friday the Huskies flew to Alaska to play in an all day Saturday tournament.
“It was a really neat experience,” said Parrish. “Probably the biggest surprise is it was not the Alaska you think about. It wasn’t the mountains and the glaciers and the trees. It was the tundra. In the summer the permafrost melts and it becomes a marsh.
In addition to a full day of volleyball from 8 am to 11:30 pm on Saturday, the team got to spend some time looking around the town and learning about a different way of life before an 11-hour flight home.
“It was good to see the way a different culture lives,” Parris said. “The sewer and water lines are all above ground. The houses are up on stilts. They don’t pave anything because the cement couldn’t handle the weather.”
Without roads, sports teams in Alaska travel by air or by boat and the host schools are used to providing for the visitors needs. The host schools puts the visitors up in the school buildings and feeds them during their stay.
The Huskies defeated Barlow, Alaska in their opening match at 8 am. Othello then swept Bethel in three straight sets and repeated with a close three set sweep of Valdez. Valdez and Barlow were the first and second place 3A teams in Alaska last year. The Huskies then meet Valdez for the championship and lost 15-17 in the fifth set. The contest ended at 11:30 Saturday night.
On Tuesday, back in the friendly confines of Taggares Gym, the Huskies swept Grandview 25-21, 25-18, 25-15.
Emily Garza had 7 kills, 1 ace and 10 digs. Alyssa Hawley added 5 kills, 1 ace and 3 blocks. Clarissa Martinez contributed 5 kills, 1 ace and 9 digs. Macy Hampton pitched in 16 assists, 5 aces and 3 kills and Janeisse Alvarez recorded 15 assists.
“We played better in Alaska than we did against Grandview,” Parris said. “They were more nervous in front of the home crowd “
On Thursday Othello travels to Prosser to take on one of the teams Parris expects to be a contender for the league title. Beating the Mustangs will be a tall task.
“We start at about 5’4 and go up to 5’10,” Parris said. Prosser starts at 5-9 and goes up to 6 feet. They are a very tall team.”