The Cook Inlet Conference volleyball season, placed on pause for two weeks earlier this month because of multiple teams in quarantine, has one more day of regular-season competition left before teams head into a conference tournament delayed one day by COVID-19.
Next week’s conference tournament was originally scheduled to run Wednesday through Friday. Now it’s set to run Thursday to Saturday, a change that will allow the East Thunderbirds to participate.
The T-birds had to cancel Tuesday’s match against West High, and an upcoming Friday match against Dimond High was also canceled after a player tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The team will be quarantined until Thursday, the day after the CIC tournament was supposed to begin.
“We moved the regions back one day so we can play,” East coach Jim Dooley said by email.
On the court Tuesday, the big match was a battle between CIC juggernauts Dimond and South.
The Lynx remained undefeated by winning a tense, three-set match 26-24, 28-26, 25-14. The victory wrapped up a 9-0 regular-season for Dimond, which will be the top seed at the CIC tournament. South, which fell to 7-2, will be the No. 2 seed.
Larssen Anderson led Dimond with 10 kills, 18 digs and three service aces. Areanna Vreeland had four aces to go with 21 digs, Danielle Milo had seven kills and 11 digs and setter Kaden Osborne handed out 24 assists.
South’s leaders included Kylie Hurd (21 digs), Hanna Henrie (8 kills, 3 aces), Madi Trawick (8 digs, 3 aces, 8 digs) and Emma McMillan (14 assists, 2 aces).
In other matches, Bartlett defeated Chugiak and Service took down Eagle River.
Sparking Bartlett’s 25-11, 25-20, 25-16 sweep was Sinalynn Roberts, who served seven aces and had 17 assists. Judith Utuga tallied 12 kills and Ilikea Kahunanui had eight, while Loralynna Atafua provided 14 assists and Zaysharae Malia-Hughes added eight digs.
No details were reported from the Service-Eagle River match.
Just as the CIC’s regular season was altered by COVID-19, so will the conference tournament. Usually an eight-team, double-elimination tournament, it will have an eight-team, single-elimination bracket.
The tournament will represent the culmination of the season for CIC teams — the state tournament was canceled because of the pandemic.