Su-Valley Rams charge all the way to ASAA 2A State Championship
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Susitna Valley Rams ran through the bracket at the 2021 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 2A Volleyball State Championship, going undefeated to win the title.
Susitna Valley went up against the Klawock Chieftains for the championship game in a rematch from earlier in the tournament. In their first meeting the Rams won the match 3-1, sending Klawock to the losers bracket. The championship match was as close as it could have been, going five sets with the largest margin of victory in any of the five games being just five points. Su-Valley was undefeated in the tournament, meaning if they lost the match the two teams would play an “if” game to 30 points with the winner taking home the championship.
The Rams wouldn’t let the championship game get to that point though. Even after going down by four points in the fifth set, the Rams showed resilience, charging all the way back to win the set 15-12 and in doing so, winning the State Championship.
Susitna Valley played largely through their star hitter Alana Barren, who had too many kills to count and looked like she was in the zone on the court.
“Once you feel like what the swing feels like, I don’t know, it is just a certain motivation after you get that kill you’re just like I want to do that again” Susitna Valley player of the game Alana Barren said.
Prior to facing Susitna Valley, Klawock played more volleyball than any other team in the tournament. The Chieftans played six matches with two of them going four sets and two others going five sets. The Chieftains had an answer for everything the Rams threw at them, except for the back row hitting of Alana Barren, which she says is something she worked on in the offseason.
Last year the 2A State Championship tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions. While that meant Susitna Valley didn’t have a chance to play for a title, Barren said that in a way it helped her get better. It forced the Rams to play many more 3A and 4A teams, which helped Susitna Valley hitters get used to spiking over taller competition. While the off year helped improve their young hitters, it also meant that last years seniors didn’t have the chance at at title, something this years seniors don’t take lightly.
“We had some special people that graduated last year so kind of doing it for them too” Susitna Valley senior India Roderick said.
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