November 22, 2010


The banquet will be held next Monday, November, 29 @ 6:00. See you all there!

November 17, 2010

Frontiersman Pics

Sports : Season ends with tough 5-game match for Moose - Frontiersman

Sports : Season ends with tough 5-game match for Moose - Frontiersman

Published on Saturday, November 13, 2010 11:47 PM AKST

WASILLA — Fresh off an upset win at the Northern Lights Conference regional tournament, Palmer gave Moose fans an exciting end to their season Friday at the ASAA/First National Bank State Volleyball Championships.

With the tournament played at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center, Palmer ended the 2010 season with a tough 3-2 loss to Juneau-Douglas in the consolation semifinals (15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 16-25, 13-15).

In a match with contrasting styles, the Crimson Bears rode the dominating play of senior middle-hitter Sarah Tarver, who disrupted the Moose offense at the net for much of the match. With Palmer leading 2-1 in the match, Tarver elevated her play with seven kills and nine blocks in the final two games to help Juneau notch the win.

“She’s tall and tipped the ball around to good places and found openings a lot,” said Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds.

It was par for the course for Tarver, said Juneau head coach Sandi Wagner.

“She’s done that all season,” she said.

For Palmer, Friday’s consolation round match was difficult to get up for, especially at 9 a.m., Reynolds said. After winning the regional tournament, the Moose opened state tournament play Thursday with a first-round loss to Dimond.

When they quickly dropped the first game to Douglas, Palmer could’ve rolled over, he said. Instead, the Moose rebounded to win the next two games and nearly pulled out the win in the fifth and deciding game.

“That first game, we got off to a really slow start. But we showed that, at times, we’re good,” Reynolds said.

The Moose showed how good in the second game, holding off a late Juneau rally after coming from behind early in the game.

Palmer started the game getting out to a quick 4-1 lead, but the Crimson Bears, sparked by five straight service points from Megan Mauseth, put the Moose in a 9-4 hole. That’s when Palmer clamped down on defense and steadily erased the deficit and built a comfortable lead at 23-16 and held on for the 25-22 win. Offensively, junior Jessica Dennis sparked the Moose with three key kills near the end of the game.

The Moose were in control for much of the second game, sparked by four straight service points from senior Rebecca Stella, including an ace, to lead early 6-2.

Tarver tried to keep the Crimson Bears in the game, with three kills and five blocks, but it wasn’t enough. Palmer’s sharp play continued to build the lead to seven points at 21-14 before putting the game away.

The game three win put Palmer in the driver’s seat and the match was looking good, Reynolds said.

“We had our moments there where I thought we moved the ball well and controlled the ball well,” he said.

There seemed to be more of those moments as the fourth game began, with the Moose taking an early 4-1 lead, but Tarver would inspire the Crimson Bears with a late push to close out the game 25-16 and tie the match.

In the fifth and deciding game, Palmer put Juneau on the ropes early, leading 5-0 within the first minutes of play, spurred by a Stella Kill and four straight service points for Chantel Grover.

But Juneau had another answer for Palmer’s run. Mauseth served four straight points to pull the Crimson Bears even at 6. The teams were tied again at 13, and it would be Tarver who would step up again at the net with a block and the win, 15-13.

Palmer had its chances by leading early in games four and five, Reynolds said.

“Either by our own mental errors or unforced errors or something good that they would do, it would kind of squash the momentum,” he said.

Looking back on the season, the coach said he’s proud of his team and their region title.

“We started kind of slow, but people were working hard and making improvements, and as a team I thought we really improved as we got down to the last three weeks of the season,” he said. “That’s the perfect time.”

Contact Greg Johnson at or 352-2269.

Sports : Fast tournament start not enough for Moose - Frontiersman

Sports : Fast tournament start not enough for Moose - Frontiersman

Published on Thursday, November 11, 2010 11:48 PM AKST

WASILLA — During the first game of their match Thursday night, the Palmer Moose appeared to be headed right toward pulling off an upset. The Moose smacked two-time defending state champion Dimond with a 25-16 defeat in the first set.

But with that fast start, the Moose may have simply awoken a sleeping giant.

The Lynx took the final three games to secure a 3-1 (16-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-22) win over the Moose during the first round of the ASAA/First National Bank 4A State Volleyball Championships at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla.

“Dimond definitely turned their heat up with their serves, and it kind of snowballed from there,” Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds said after the loss.

Although Dimond was able to use its height to its advantage, both offensively and defensively, Reynolds said he felt it all started with Dimond’s superior serving.

“That was the biggest key,” Reynolds said. “They just came out strong, and the serves kept us off balance.”

The serving, Reynolds said, allow the Lynx to control the play of the match in other aspects.

“Once they got us out of sorts, they had their way with us,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the Moose had a particularly tough time passing the ball.

“Once the passing goes away, the setting gets tougher, everything gets harder,” Reynolds said. “When the hitters are not getting (the ball) as easily, it starts to affect other parts of the game.”

Led by the hitting of senior Kendal Venzke, Palmer jumped out to an early led in the first set.

“We just played very well that first game,” Reynolds said.

Palmer used a five-point run — that included kills by Jessica Dennis and Chantel Grover, and a Venzke ace — to take an 8-4 lead in the game.

Palmer capped a 5-1 run with a Jenna Arlow ace to take the 11-5 lead.

Kalene Smith scored another ace later in the game to give the Moose the 20-13 advantage, and Palmer closed the game thanks to consecutive Dimond hits into the net.

But after that, Dimond was able to quickly capture the momentum. The Lynx opened with four straight points in the second game and used a six-point run to take an 11-4 lead.

Dimond also led by significant margins in games 3 and 4, but Palmer was able to claw back. But each time, the rally fell short.

Dimond edged Palmer by three points in each of the final two games.

“I definitely liked that,” Reynolds said of the rallies. “But we had little lulls in our play early in those games. In the state tournament against good teams, like Dimond, you can’t take those little breaks.

Venzke led the Moose with 12 kills in the game. Arlow contributed 29 assists.

With the loss Palmer is pushed backward and will play Juneau-Douglas this morning at 9. Juneau suffered a 3-2 loss to Chugiak on Thursday.

Dimond moves forward to play Chugiak this afternoon at 3:45 p.m.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at and follow him on Twitter at

November 11, 2010

The varsity team plays tonight at 7:15 in the first round of the state tournament. Hope you can make it out to support the team!

November 9, 2010

Pictures from the Frontiersman

Sports : Home court - Frontiersman

Sports : Home court - Frontiersman

By Jeremiah Bartz
Published on Monday, November 8, 2010 9:22 PM AKST

WASILLA — History has a funny way of repeating itself.

On Saturday, the Palmer Moose surprised top-seeded Wasilla in the final match of the Northern Lights championship to win the conference crown. Palmer’s road to the 2010 NLC title was somewhat similar to its path to a 2009 conference title. Much like this year, the Moose also upset a top seed en route to an NLC championship.

But that’s not where the similarities end.

Last season, Palmer opened play against defending state champion Dimond during the first day of the state tournament. And that’s exactly how the Moose will begin the 2010 tourney.

NLC champion Palmer will face 2010 Cook Inlet Conference runner-up and two-time defending state champion Dimond at 7:15 p.m., Thursday during the first round of the ASAA/First National Bank 4A State Volleyball Championships at the Curtis. D. Menard II Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla.

When it comes to similarities, that’s where the Moose would like to see it end. Last year, Dimond edged Palmer 3-2 (25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 22-25, 15-9) in the first round, and the Lynx went on to beat Colony in the state title match.

Regardless, Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds likes the idea of a rematch with the Lynx.

“We’ve played them before, we’ve taken games from them,” Reynolds said Monday. “When we played Dimond last year, we went five and lost. We have enough girls on the team from last year, they’re already talking about how we need to take care of business.”

Palmer will be one of three Valley teams looking to take care of business Thursday. Wasilla, which suffered a 3-1 loss to the Moose in the conference title match, opens play against CIC champion South Anchorage at 5:30 p.m. Colony, the NLC No. 3 seed, faces Mid-Alaska Conference champ West Valley at 3:45 p.m.

Palmer upset a Wasilla team that was previously undefeated in conference play in the NLC title match. Reynolds said his team has steadily built confidence and momentum throughout the latter half of the season. An example of that is Palmer’s performance against Wasilla in the tourney.

During the regular season, the Moose dropped a pair of losses to Wasilla, including a quick 55-minute match on Palmer’s home court.

“We hadn’t done too well against Wasilla, but we still came in and played with confidence in regions,” Reynolds said.

He said he hopes that momentum can drive the Moose through the state tourney as well.

“Momentum is everything in volleyball,” Reynolds said. “Conversely, when things fall apart, things fall apart pretty badly. We always try to work on just leveling out those highs and lows.”

While Palmer will look to ride its momentum, Wasilla will attempt to get back on track when it opens against South Anchorage.

Wasilla’s Claudia Farias Pinard, the 2010 NLC Coach of the Year, said she has no doubt her team can rebound.

“We will come back, for sure,” Farias Pinard said Monday.

Farias Pinard was also not overly concerned about playing South, a squad that won three straight state titles from 2005-07.

“I don’t think any team in the tournament is better than another,” Farias Pinard said.

Wasilla cruised through the NLC regular season, beating most teams handily. The Warriors lone blemish on their regular season mark came in a nonconference loss to Grace Christian, a top 3A team in the state.

“I believe we have the potential to win,” Farias Pinard said.

Farias Pinard said she hopes her team can use that loss to Palmer to their advantage.

South swept Dimond in the CIC title match to earn the conference crown and remain undefeated in 2010.

Colony, which powered its way through the backside of conference bracket during the final day of the NLC tourney, opens with Mid-Alaska Conference champion West Valley.

The Wolfpack followed an undefeated season with a pair of wins during the MAC tourney at North Pole High School last weekend. West Valley swept fourth-seeded Houston and second-seeded North Pole in the tourney to improve to 15-0 overall.

West Valley also beat Colony during a regular season match at CHS in October.

In the NLC tournament, Colony rebounded from a semifinal loss to Wasilla and scored victories over Kodiak and Soldotna during the final day of the tourney. The Knights used the 3-0 sweep of the Stars in the tourney’s third-place match to earn the NLC’s final berth in the state event.

Colony, the 4A runner-up in 2007 and 2009 has not missed the state tourney since 2002.

Contact Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at Follow him at Twitter at

November 8, 2010

Breaking News : Palmer spikes Warriors to win region title - Frontiersman

Breaking News : Palmer spikes Warriors to win region title - Frontiersman

Published on Saturday, November 6, 2010 11:27 PM AKDT

SOLDOTNA — When the Palmer Moose met the Wasilla Warriors for the final time during the regular season, Wasilla made quick work of the Moose, cruising past their rival during a quick, 55-minute match on Palmer’s home court.

That, coupled with Wasilla’s dominance of the Northern Lights Conference this season, Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds admittedly did not know what to think as he led his squad onto the court to play Wasilla in the conference title match Saturday evening.

But powered by a newfound sense of confidence, Reynolds’ Moose prevailed. Palmer scored a 3-1 (26-24, 25-27, 25-22, 25-22) win Saturday over the previously undefeated Warriors during the title match of the Northern Lights Conference Championships volleyball tournament at Skyview High School in Soldotna.

“If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure (about the match),” Reynolds said by cell phone Saturday evening as his squad was returning to the Valley in the team bus. “We had just lost to them two times during the regular season, and the last time they killed us. But we gained confidence down here.”

That confidence, Reynolds said, skyrocketed during his team’s 3-1 upset win over host Skyview in the NLC semifinals on Friday.

“That game against Skyview, that was a great confidence booster,” Reynolds said. “That got us through tonight.”

Senior Kendal Venzke, who was named first-team All-Northern Lights Conference after the match, led the team with 18 kills to help Palmer win its second straight NLC crown. Both Palmer and Wasilla earned automatic berths to next week’s state tournament with their appearance in the conference final. Colony made it a clean sweep for the Valley, clinching its postseason bid with a 3-0 sweep of Soldotna during the third-place match Saturday afternoon.

For the Moose, the road to their second straight conference championship was eerily similar to their journey to the 2009 crown. Like last season, the Moose started the season a little bit slow, but quietly progressed and eventually stunned the top seed for the title.

“We did struggle some early on. We had some weird things happen, some injuries,” Reynolds said. “But it came together. Apparently, a slow start is not a problem.”

Reynolds said things began to click for his team during the Dimond/Service Tournament in Anchorage last month. Up to that point, the Moose coaching staff had been tinkering with starting lineups. But during that tourney, they found a combination that worked. Reynolds said the Moose used so many different sets of starters, once they did find that right group, it turned into somewhat of an inside joke.

“We were like, hey we’ve used that one before,” Reynolds said with a laugh.

But more important than that, he said, was the progression.

“The big thing was people were still improving right up to the end,” Reynolds said.

The players saw that confidence, too.

“I think we all started to realize that if we started working hard, working more as a team, no one could stop us,” hitter Rebecca Stella said by cell phone from the team bus Saturday.

Wasilla junior Sariah Tuisaula was named the most valuable player of the NLC North Division after the final match. Wasilla’s Aryn Crane, Palmer’s Jenna Arlow and Colony’s Shellina Irwin joined Venzke on the NLC first team. Wasilla’s Claudia Farias Pinard was named the NLC Coach of the Year.

Wasilla’s Kayla Bell and Haley Taylor, and Palmer’s Morgan Morfe were named to the second team.
Congratulations to the varsity team who won regions this weekend!!

Jenna and Kendal made the All Region Team, while Morgan made Second Team plus the Good Sport Team. Way to be a good sport Morgan :)

They are set to play the first round of the state tournament at 7:15 on Thursday against Dimond. Hope everyone can make it out to support the team.

Good Luck Girls!
"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game."
Michael Jordan

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