Lady Wolverines win Lumen Christi Spiketacular

Cordova’s Lady Wolverines came up big on their first road trip in two years, winning the Lumen Christi Spiketacular. From left, #11 Ricki Reilly, #22 Grace Collins, #1 Jheryel Itliong, #4 Maggie Herschleb, #9 Gwethalyn Jacob, #14 Alayna Goss, #8 Amee Hamberger, #3 Alana Esguerra, #7 Jacey Pallas, #5 Jade Sharky, #10 Aaliyah Tiedeman, Coach Janelle Greenwood. Boys are Xavier Russin and Trevor Dundas. Photo courtesy of CHS

The Cordova Lady Wolverines had a very successful four-day road trip on October 13-16, winning the Lumen Christi Spiketacular as well as coming out on top in several conference games.

It was the Cordova Jr./Sr. High School volleyball team’s first travel after a season lost to COVID-19 protocols last year.

“Words cannot even describe the feeling of being back on the court and watching these girls accomplish goals we have been working for and envisioning for two seasons now,” CHS coach Janelle Greenwood said.

The action began with a late Wednesday, Oct. 13 match versus Unalaska, who also did not travel or play any games last season. Cordova won the contest in five games.

The next three days featured a bonanza of tournament and conference play.

On Thursday, Oct. 14, Cordova topped Glennallen in two games and split with ACS in tournament pool play, and then edged Su-Valley in a five-game conference match.

Friday, Oct. 15, featured more of the same. Cordova topped Nenana, Bristol Bay and Dillingham in tournament play, and defeated Ninilchik in a three-game conference match.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, the 16 teams were split into Silver and Gold brackets. Cordova, based on their prior pool games, was seeded No. 1 in the Gold Bracket of the single-elimination playoff.

The Lady W’s topped Dillingham in two games, and then had to battle back from a 19-24 deficit in their second game against Tri-Valley to advance with a 26-24 win.

CHS then defeated Unalaska in a three-game championship battle and tossed in a three-game conference victory over Birchwood Christian after that.

Cordova finished an amazing 27-6 record in individual games, while going 4-0 in conference matches.

Wolverines Alana Esguerra and Gwethalyn Jacob were selected to the All-Tournament team.

“We still have a lot to work on and improve, but this tournament was a boost to our drive and we have high hopes for the remainder of the season,” Greenwood said.

The Cordova JVs also played in the tournament and had a solid weekend gaining game experience. Former CHS volleyball player Lindsey Hammer has joined the program as assistant coach.

“We are very glad to have her,” Greenwood said. “This was the first time traveling and playing for all the sophomores and freshman, and the future looks bright for the JV team coming up.”

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Dick Shellhorn is a lifelong Cordovan. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 50 years. In his Cordova Chronicles features, he writes about the history and characters of this Alaska town. Alaska Press Club awarded Shellhorn first place for Best Humor column in 2016 and 2020, and third place in 2017 and 2019. He also received second place for Best Editorial Commentary in 2019. Shellhorn has written two books about Alaska adventures: Time and Tide and Balls and Stripes. Reach him at