Inuvik holds fifth annual Paulou Ittungna volleyball tournament

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With a men’s final game score of 3-0, Team Barry ended the JLT Eagles’ two-year winning streak at the Paulou Ittungna Memorial Regional Volleyball Tournament last weekend.

On the women’s side, Servaces took the winning title from Calm Your Tips, scoring 3-1 in the final game.

Alicia Lennie hits an epic spike.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

The tournament, which has been running for five years, honors the late Paulou Ittungna – an Inuvik youth and avid volleyball player who passed away in 2012 at the age of 18.

Ittungna was also a competitor in Arctic sports and participated in Arctic Winter Games, as well as many other sports.

Tournament co-organizer Stacey Christie said she knew Ittungna in her role as a volleyball coach.

“He was an absolute force. He was always up, he was always positive, he was always cheering the loudest,” said Christie. “He kept everyone motivated and it was great to see how he was such a positive force for everyone.”

Christie recalls that his death occurred right before the high school teams attended the Spike It tournament in Yellowknife.

“It was an emotional time for the athletes,” she said. “They played in his name at Spike It that year, and now we do the same every year at this tournament.”

Co-organizer Jeff Amos referees the women’s final game.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

Now, the tournament takes place before Spike It in order to give student volleyball players a chance to play at a higher level to prepare for the Yellowknife tournament.

The tournament was held Oct. 12 and 13 in the East Three Elementary and Secondary gymnasiums and was open to male and female adult and high school players.

Nearly 20 teams participated in the tournament.