Lynx Sniffing Out Third Straight Championship

The Dimond High School volleyball team took seventh out of a 60-team field in a California tournament, reinforcing their reputation as a team to contend with. Dimond is one of the best teams in Alaska, with a record of eight wins and two losses. Dimond has beaten West, East,Eagle River, Skyview, Bartlett and Service. Their two losses so far came from other teams that have a good chance at a title, those teams being Chugiak and South. Not only is Dimond’s record good, but they have five senior starters who were all a part of last year’s state championship team. Some of those players were also a part of the state championship team two years ago. Abby Pacolt, a senior and a starter, said that they are an experienced team with only two sophomores and five seniors. The rest are juniors. They did lose some key players last year, including Gatorade Player of the Year Taylor Adams. “Losing Taylor was a big blow, plus we lost most of our back line. But we’re okay because we still have senior experience and very talented players back there,” Pacolt said. Pacolt said that she and the team needed improvements defensively. Pacolt added, “State champions three years in a row is the goal and we expect no less!” Coach Kim Lauwers had some comments of her own through an e-mail interview. She said she thinks that serving and receiving is what the team needs to work on most and that South High will be the team to beat. Dimond has already lost to South once this season. She also said that winning State is not just a goal, it is an expectation. Lauwers puts a lot of pressure on these girls, but it is only because she believes that they are the best and wants them to prove that to the state of Alaska. Lauwers said, “We don’t want to have any other goal because we know winning state is in reach if we continue to work hard and improve! I think our team wants to follow in the footsteps of the teams ahead of them.” Lauwers added, “I think it’s not going to be an easy road toward the region or state championship. We have a target on our back. “Every opponent will play their best match against us. So in one way, this could be the toughest championship to get. . . but if we stay healthy and continue to improve our back row part of the game, we have a great chance!”