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KETCHIKAN (KDN) — State Tournament volleyball action picked back up on Saturday to find a ASAA 2A champion, following the earthquake the that shook Anchorage on Friday.
Eight high schools, including Craig and Wrangell high schools, were participating in the three-day tournament when an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit the city. Everyone was safe, but the natural disaster—along with numerous aftershocks—put a halt to Day Two of the tournament.
ASAA was able to find a new location, moving the event from Dimond High School to Anchorage Christian Schools and staged the tournament there, along with the Mix Six state championships.
The tournament was abbreviated, so that it could be finished in one day, with the schools scheduled to leave Anchorage on Sunday. And part of that setup included bumping the remaining games from a best-of-five to a best-of-three in the double-elimination bracket.
Wrangell entered action on Saturday with a 1-1 tournament record. The Lady Wolves had beaten Chevak High School 3-0 on Thursday, but fell 3-1 against Sustina Valley High School later that evening.
Saturday’s matchup against Glennallen High School had Wrangell behind early, losing the first set 25-12.
In the best-of-three setting, the Lady Wolves needed to win the next two to advance. But it wasn’t meant to be, as Wrangell dropped the second set by the same score, 25-12. The loss bumped Wrangell out of the tournament, ending its season.
It was the Lady Wolves’ second straight trip to the state tournament and third time since head coach Jessica Whitaker took over the program 13 years ago. Whitaker will retire after this season.
Wrangell’s squad will graduate only two seniors this spring — Ashley Allen and Helen Decker — and return nine players.
On Craig’s side, the Lady Panthers entered Saturday’s action up 2-0 in the tournament, winning both of their matches on Thursday — 3-2 against Glennallen and 3-1 against Cordova High School.
But Saturday was a different story. Craig dropped its first game 2-0 against Sustina Valley.
That loss bumped the Lady Panthers to a rematch against Glennallen, but it didn’t end as their first game did on Thursday. Craig dropped its second game Saturday 2-0 to the eventual state champion Glennallen Lady Panthers.
Craig will graduate five seniors this spring — Sarah Yates, Ashley Hansen, Hannah Altland, Haleigh Ebbighausen and Johanna Allen.
This season’s Craig’s squad was the top seeded Region V Small Schools team and won the regional title. The Lady Panthers will return seven players next year.