The Kayhi volleyball team gets last place at the Region V tournament. On Thursday night the Kings played the Crimson Bears and lost 1-3. On Friday night the Kings fell to the Falcons 0-3 and were eliminated from the tournament. Senior captain Madison Purcell was named All-Conference Team. Purcell speaks on her last Region tournament experience.
“It was a lot of fun, I’m happy and feel fulfilled with how this season went,” said Purcell.
The Lady Kings (0-8) will head to Juneau to play in the Region V Volleyball tournament this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Lady Kings will play at 7 p.m. on Thursday night against the Juneau Douglas Crimson Bears and the rest of the game times will depend on the outcome of the previous games. Senior Erika Rauwolf is unsure about this weekend.
“I don’t know how this weekend in Juneau is going to go, I’m hoping we can compete and whatever happens, happens,” said Rauwolf.
The Lady Kings are heading to Metlakatla this weekend to play their last set of games before the Region Tournament in Juneau. Junior Zoe Rouleau is hoping to win these games before heading to regions next week.
“This weekend in Met of course the end goal is to get a win, we’re mainly focused on playing as a team and getting a feel of how we’re going to play at regions,” said Rouleau.
The Lady Kings lost both Friday and Saturday night to the Lady Wolves. The Lady Kings fell 0-3 on both nights, on Friday night (28-26, 25-16, 25-7) and on Saturday night (25-12, 25-16, 25-16). It was the Kings last home games of the season. Although the Kings lost senior Erika Rauwolf is thankful for the experience she has had and for the support she received.
“It was a great weekend, I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to play for my school and to have the support that I had on senior night by my friends and family was truly a blessing,” said Rauwolf. “I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
The Lady Kings are two weeks away from heading into the Region tournament in Juneau.
The Kayhi Lady Kings will be playing the Sitka Wolves this Friday and Saturday night. These games will be the Kings last set of home games this season and for three of the senior players it will be their last home game ever. Senior Erika Rauwolf talks about this weekend.
“It’s for sure a bittersweet moment but good in a way. Everything has to come to an end eventually,” said Rauwolf. “It’s been a good couple years of playing.”
For senior Mackenzie Merrill it’s been a hard pill to swallow.
“It’s pretty emotional for me to think I won’t step on the home court and play volleyball again. I’ve had ups and downs with this sport but it was my very first sport that made me understand what a family really is. It’s hard to believe it’s going to be ending soon,” said Merrill.
Senior Madison Purcell has some advice for future Lady Kings and for underclassmen.
“Communicate with your coach, keep a good attitude and be ready to play,” said Purcell.
Friday: 5 pm Kayhi JV vs Sitka JV 7 pm Kayhi V vs Sitka V
Saturday: 5pm Kayhi JV vs Sitka JV Senior Night 7 pm Kayhi V vs Sitka V
The Lady Kings varsity volleyball team came back winless. Both Friday and Saturday night the Lady Kings lost 0-3. Sophomore Jenae Rhoads saw improvement in the team but said the team just couldn’t focus at critical times.
“I think we played better than when we first played [Juneau] we got close the first few matches but fell apart when we needed to focus on the game,” said Rhoads.
The Lady Kings will have their last home games and their senior night this upcoming Friday and Saturday.
Friday: Kayhi JV2 vs Juneau JV2 (25-17, 25-21, 25-19)
Kayhi volleyball is on its third coach in four years, but the coaching carousel might just stop with Kevin Johnson. Johnson was hired in June after previous coach of two years Beth Sandefur left to go coach the Schoenbar Middle School volleyball team. Kayhi last won a Region V title in 2015, that team was lead by Kevin Johnson’s daughter, Kreylyn Johnson who was a junior, but it seems longer after four near winless seasons. Johnson wanted to coach because he thought the team needed to reach their full potential as well as putting in the effort that it takes while having fun. “The program needed a coach who had some energy and that could get our girls to a higher level of playing,” said Johnson. “It’s to get the kids committed to understanding you have to work to win you can’t just show up and get lucky and I think the other part to that is that I want our kids to leave with a good experience” Johnson has coached both boys and girls in basketball and volleyball and it’s his twenty third year of coaching. “I’ve coached both this is my twenty-third year as a coach so I’ve been at it for a while, I’ve coached both genders,” said Johnson. “Girls you know you can coach hard, you can coach girls hard, you can push them you can drive them you can do all those things but the difference between males and females in coaching them is their ability to deal with what they internalize. With girls its a building progress but once they get there it’s over,” emphasized Johnson. Senior Captain, Mackenzie Merrill has had three different coaches her four years of high school volleyball. Not having the same coach for more than two years has taken its toll on Merrill. “It is definitely one of the biggest downfalls I struggled with as a player. Not being able to make a true connection with a coach was really hard,” said Merril. Merril said that the team has had big leaps from last season to this season with Kevin Johnson. “The biggest shift from last year to this year would probably be bringing in a new coach who wants to change the volleyball community in Ketchikan. He’s not only here to keep volleyball going but to make it a great program,” said Merril. Merril thinks that the team connects perfectly with Kevin Johnson. “I think we fit right in with Kevin Johnson. He is a coach who pushes and pushes until we reach our full potential. Even if that’s us slowly gaining progress or us losing our confidence he is right there to pick us up and show us what a team is,” said Merril. Merrill is confident in what Kevin Johnson and the team can accomplish in the future. “I know for a fact Kevin Johnson is going to lead this team to a region win and possibly a state win,” said Merril.