There will be volleyball after all.
The Ketchikan High School Lady Kings will square off against the Craig High School Lady Panthers at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Varsity action is slated for 12:30 p.m., with junior varsity beginning the day at 11:15 a.m. The main doorway at Kayhi will be open for the public.
It will be the first game in which Ketchikan will host a team outside of the First City since the novel coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year.
All week, Craig had been expected to make the trek from Prince of Wales Island to Ketchikan for a matchup on Saturday.
But the Inter-Island Ferry Authority’s cancellation of service on Thursday, due to Stikine breaking down on Wednesday — its lone working ferry — threw a wrench in the works.
That forced Ketchikan volleyball coach Kevin Johnson and Craig volleyball coach Tina Nelson to search for a last-minute way for the Lady Panthers to travel to Ketchikan — via by boat or by plane. And that’s when Southeast Stevedoring stepped up to the plate.
The company will ride the waters, picking up the Lady Panthers Saturday morning, and bringing them to the First City in time for the JV game at 11:15 a.m.
Following the matchup between varsity squads, Craig will turn around and head back home.
The two teams are allowed to play each other because both communities have maintained a low risk level for the novel coronavirus.
The Lady Kings have been practicing since late August, preparing for this day but unsure if it would come. For more than a month, Ketchikan has been working on skill sets and hitting the weight room.
The squad played a pair of Kayhi alumni volleyball matches to make up for lost games against Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain high schools in September.
The capital city has struggled to keep its risk level for the novel virus at a low rate, maintaining a higher risk level than the First City.
The alumni games are the only source of competition the Lady Kings have had. Most recently, they beat the Kayhi alumni squad 3-1 on Sept. 25.
Just like Kayhi’s group, the Craig Lady Panthers are a young team, but full of talent. Nelson has continued to keep her Lady Panthers atop the Region V 2A division, making back-to-back state tournaments the past couple years.
Ketchikan High School asks anyone attending Saturday’s volleyball matchup to abide by the novel coronavirus mitigation plan procedures, such as social distancing in the bleachers and wearing an appropriate face mask.