Akiuk competes at Mixed Six state tournament

The Akiuk Grizzlies are the 2018 State Mixed Six Sportsmanship Award winners. Above is Nikolai Charles setting up the ball during Saturday's game with the Shishmaref Northern Lights. photo by Greg Lincoln

by Tommy Wells

The Akiuk Grizzlies are bringing home to the YK Delta the 2018 State Mixed 6 Sportsmanship Award. Akiuk was among the 12 teams from through the state that competed in the Mixed Six state volleyball tournament this weekend in Anchorage. The tournament, despite being delayed briefly by the 7.0 earthquake that struck the Anchorage/Wasilla area, was held Nov. 29-Dec. 3 at Dimond High School and finishing up at Anchorage Christian Schools.
During the first round of pool play, Akiuk played with only a partial team and was still able to make it to the bracket. The other players were weathered out but were able to make it into Anchorage the next day.
Akiuk dropped both of its games in the championship bracket, falling to Shishmaref by a 2-0 margin in the first round. They dropped a 1-0 decision to eventual fourth-place finisher Nikolaevsk in the consolation semifinals.
The Tanalian Lynx of Port Alsworth won the 2018 Mixed Six state title by downing the Shishmaref Northern Lights in the finals, 25-18, 25-22, 17-25, 25-19.
Named as Good Sport recipients during the tournament were: Nikolai Charles, Kalila Pavilla, and Jayden Andrew. After each game Akiuk would huddle up and cheer for the other team “Good game (mascot of other team)! Go Grizzlies!”
The head coach for the Grizzlies is Harry Nicholas.