Tanalian Lynx repeat as Mix Six state volleyball champions

Tanalian uses all of their players to win the Mix Six State Championship Game
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 10:41 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While Daniel Wardell stole the show with his jaw-dropping spikes, the entire Tanalian Lynx team came together for a dominant run to their second straight ASAA Mix Six state championship.

The Lynx truly had a commanding run through the tournament, with their closest set being a 25-21 score against Golovin. The Wardell siblings of Daniel and Ellah Wardell made a big difference in every match, but it was the other players on the team that really made for a dominant run.

“Volleyball is a team sport. There is no ‘I’ in team,” Tanalian senior Daniel Wardell said. “Everything out there is played as a team and that’s a huge part of our win is because we want to work hard and we are a team, together. We don’t play with just individual players. We play as a team.”

Nearly everyone on the team contributed in the final match against the Shishmaref Northern Lights, with eighth-grader Erik McGee even getting the last point to fall.

Alaska is one of the few places in the country that has Mix Six volleyball and the sport provides a way for kids in small schools in rural areas to get on the court.

“The opportunities that all these kids have just to come out and feel special and be in this big tournament is huge for everyone,” Wardell said. “It’s huge for our team. I know it’s huge for a lot of teams just being able to come out and play competitively because I know this is probably one of the only places you can play mix six volleyball so there is something special really here for sure.”

The Lynx have now gone back-to-back as state champions and with only three seniors graduating this year, they will go for a third next season.