Capping a day and night filled with extended matches, defending state champion South knocked off undefeated Dimond in five sets Friday evening to advance to Saturday's championship game in the Cook Inlet Conference volleyball tournament at Service High.
South, which lost a pair of CIC matches to Dimond in the regular season, prevailed 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10. The victory in a match that did not end until about 11 p.m. placed the Wolverines into Saturday's 6 p.m. championship match and earned them the luxury of being the only team undefeated in the double-elimination tournament.
Meanwhile, Dimond dropped into the loser's bracket to await the winner of Saturday's 2 p.m. elimination match between Chugiak and East.
South and Dimond already have secured berths in next week's state tournament, and the winner of the Chugiak-East match will be guaranteed the CIC's third and final bid to state.
Mikayla Sweet paced South with 23 kills and Lauren Hoffman added 15. Holly Morehouse pounded 12 kills for the Wolverines, and Christa Leader furnished 35 digs and six Aces.
Leah Swiss led Dimond with 27 kills and Aaliyah Lewis generated 38 digs.
That epic match closed a day in which Chugiak eliminated Service in five sets and East eliminated Bartlett in four sets.
Chugiak faced both the end of its tournament life and the end of its season before it rebounded to beat the Cougars, 21-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 15-9.
Rachel Topf, Kathleen Gill and Bailee Hughes were digging machines for Chugiak -- Topf furnished 25 digs, Gill produced 19 and Hughes contributed 17.
Hughes also delivered seven kills. Shaelyn Zuehlsdorff had six kills and two blocks for the Mustangs.
Tayleigh Talmadge cranked 16 kills for Service and Morgan Christy added 14 kills and five blocks. Erin Hess generated 42 assists for the Cougars and Jessica Brown had 14 digs.
East's Taria Page bombed 18 kills in spearheading a 16-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-23 victory over Bartlett. Also, Morgan Hill and Nadia Frank-Macon each generated eight kills.
If South were to lose in the 6 p.m. championship match, that result would trigger an if-necessary championship match at 8 p.m. That match would be a one-set showdown to 30 points.
Anchorage Daily News