By TOM HESSE
Sentinel Staff Writer
In six matches the Mt. Edgecumbe High Lady Braves dropped only a single set and won all their matches by an average of nearly 14 points this weekend while hosting Thunder Mountain and Valdez.
The only blemish to the Lady Braves’ weekend came when they dropped the second set of their Saturday match with Thunder Mountain 22-25. Mt. Edgecumbe still won that set 25-10, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19. Taryn White had 33 kills in that game while Deenaalee Hodgdon had 28. Mariah Martin had 36 assists to go with 21 assists provided by Katelyn Cook. Maggie Okakok had 8 digs.
The rest of the Lady Braves’ match-ups against the Falcons were less competitive. On Thursday the Braves won 25-16, 25-7 in a three set match and 25-16, 25-13, 25-11 on Friday.
On Thursday Mt. Edgecumbe beat Valdez 25-10, 25-15, 25-18 and on Friday 25-8, 25-9. Mt. Edgecumbe closed out the weekend by beating Valdez Saturday night 25-21, 25-13, 25-15.
White edged Hodgdon on kills for the weekend by finishing with 120 kills to Hodgdon’s 109. Martin had 158 assists on the weekend. Okakok had 39 digs, Cook had four aces, Leilani Saena had six kills and Daniel Fields had four kills.
Rich Calkins, coach of the Lady Braves, said the team’s passing is getting stronger and that Martin, the team’s setter, can put the ball anywhere she wants to now.
“Mariah’s doing a great job, she really is. She’s taking balls that are off the net and still putting up real nice, hitable balls and that’s huge,” Calkins said.
Calkins said the team still has a number of areas that need improvement before the Regional tournament in the first weekend of November, but the players are making fewer mistakes the more matches they play.
“The more you play together the more familiar you are with each other and that’s vital for us,” Calkins said. “We still have a few balls that hit the floor that probably shouldn’t but there are fewer and fewer of those every day.”
Mt. Edgecumbe will play Sitka at 7 p.m. Tuesday for another installment of the Battle of the Bridge. Tuesday’s game will take place at Mt. Edgecumbe. The Lady Wolves took the Lady Braves to five sets earlier in the season but the Lady Braves have yet to fall to Sitka this season.
For their part, Sitka went 2-5 hosting Valdez and Thunder Mountain. Sitka was down a few players in their rotation but head coach Rob Suarez said they may be back to full strength for Tuesday’s match up.
Sitka’s first win came by way of a 25-14, 20-25, 15-3 win over Valdez on Thursday. Sitka would end the weekend with a win over Thunder Mountain in four sets; 25-23, 25-22, 13-25, 27-25.
Stefania Potrzuski had 21 kills in the win and Melissa Dumag had 10. Lindsey Riggs handed out 20 assists to go with 17 from Zaide Allen.
“Thunder Mountain is a solid team so it was nice to get a win over them,” Suarez said. “They’re a really good defensive team so getting a win against them says a lot about our offense during that match.”
The Wolves have two matches against Mt. Edgecumbe before Regionals and Suarez said it will be a good opportunity to measure themselves against a top team before the end of the season tournaments.
“Edgecumbe gets their kids so late that we know they improve a lot during the season,” Suarez said. “It’ll be exciting to play them again and see how we all measure up at this point.”
The rosters for Tuesday’s games are:
Lindsey Riggs, Hanna McCarty, Melissa Dumag, Susie Stedman, Nicole Seehafer, Maraelia Romine, Zaide Allen, Mya Rivera, Natalie Galanin, Stefania Potrzuski, Laurel Raschick and Kalene Koelling.
Katelyn Cook, Mariah Martin, Maggie Okakok, Danielle Fields, Deenaalee Hodgdon, Leilani Saena, Taryn White, Renatta Olson, Eden Cronk and Payton Weisz.