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Dillingham netters top Seward at state

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A strong defensive effort propelled Dillingham to a sweep of Seward in Thursday’s opening round of the Class 3A state volleyball tournament at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla.

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Dillingham won by scores of 25-23, 25-14 and 25-23, sending the Seahawks to a loser-out game against either Mt. Edgecumbe or Eielson at 9 a.m. Friday. Dillingham advances to the semifinals.

“Dillingham is a very, very defensive team and they don’t let the ball hit the floor,” Seward coach Angela Hammer said. “That’s what volleyball is all about. The team that keeps the ball off the floor is the team that’s going to win.”

Hammer said the Seahawks are more athletic than Dillingham and a better offensive side, but couldn’t end rallies Thursday.

Games 1 and 3 were back and forth and decided by a few key rallies, Hammer said, while Seward crumbled in Game 2.

Maggie Fleming and Chelsey Clarke paced Seward with 12 and eight kills, respectively, while Hammer said Gretchen Lindquist and Ashley Von Borstel provided efficient passing.

That was not enough for the Seahawks, who placed fourth at last year’s tournament and hoped to do better this season.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing,” Hammer said. “Hopefully, we’ll bounce back and get it together.”

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