Local spikers lead teams Outside


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The Alaska Volleyball Association’s U17 team poses after winning the Commendation Division at the National Volleyball Festival in Phoenix, Ariz. Back row left to right: Coach Gary Steinfort, Gabbi Lecates, Hannah Shuman, Cheyanne Laber, Allison Ruisch and Assistant Coach Sabrina Peplow.
Front row left to right: McKenzie Kish, Anastasia LaVern-Tosi, Lily Culer, Rebecca Thomas and Morgen Wohrle.

Gary Steinfort

Top local volleyball players teamed up with their counterparts from across Alaska to compete on Alaska Volleyball Association teams that traveled to the National Volleyball Festival June 25-July 1 in Phoenix.

The AVA’s U17 team finished ranked 45th and won the tournament’s Commendation Division. Among the team leaders were Eagle River High’s Gabbi Lecates (30 kills in the tournament) and Morgen Wohrle (25 kills), along with Chugiak’s McKenzie Kish (135 assists) and Hannah Shuman (20 kills, 18 blocks).

Also joining the approximately 6,000 players at the event were Eagle River High’s Brianna Howard and Kyla Meadows, who played on the U16 team, which entered the tournament seeded 93rd but finished 55th.

The AVA U15 team featured five players from CHS (Michaela Stefan, Ashley Veech, Emma Toth, Sara Rutz and Victoria Brownlee) and four from ERHS (Allie Bond, Haley Rodell, Kara Viotto and Savannah Mentzer).

According to coach Gary Steinfort, the tournament featured 550 teams from 12 different states, along with teams from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago.

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