On the 15th and 16th of October, the Nome-Beltz Volleyball teams placed second in their first home tournament of the season. The Lady Nanooks played Barrow and Bethel at the Nome-Beltz High School in the Arctic Pinkies volleyball tournament.

Originally, the tournament was also supposed to involve Seward and Dimond’s JV team, but they had to pull out due to COVID-19 concerns.

As a result, the Lady Nanook’s played more games than they had anticipated but, according to their coach, Veronica Alviso, NBHS “remained competitive.” The numerous back-to-back games, according to Alviso, helped the team gain experience.

The Nome Varsity team defeated Barrow in multiple sets spread out across two days, at one point winning games by just two points. They then played Bethel in sets of three games including the Championship game. They lost all but one game against the Warriors. Outstanding Nome-Beltz players Clara Hansen and Lupe Callahan were voted into the all-tournament team.

The games were opened to vaccinated fans and streamed online at NFHS network. Though Nome-Beltz Middle High School could only open the stands to 50% capacity, Alviso said it was good to play home games:

“It was great … anytime we are able to play against other teams and have them come into our community,” Alviso said.

She said it’s been a tricky season for the girls. The ongoing pandemic has left its marks on the season. Due to Nome’s COVID-19 spike, players now have to play masked. The possibility of COVID-19 cases on the team itself, means the athletes never can be sure who will be able to show up to play, Alviso said.

“We’re just kind of prepping for any situation because at any moment any of our players could test positive or just not be feeling well and out of just strict caution they’re staying home. We just don’t know what is going to happen. Different communities have different restrictions on who can come and who can’t and so we are just trying to weigh those different factors out,” said Alviso.

Coach Alviso commended her team for the flexibility they have shown in the midst of these uncertainties.

“What I do have to say is my team has been really great about being just versatile players. And being open to playing in different in positions and adjusting our rotations,” Alviso said.

This weekend, Lady Nanooks will be traveling to Cordova for another tournament. After that, they will be back in Nome next week for a home competition against Dillingham.

Image at top: NBMHS’ 2021-2022 volleyball seniors. Image courtesy of Nome-Beltz Student Activities. Used with permission.