Nikiski netters earn at-large berth to state tournament

The Nikiski volleyball team will get a chance to defend their Class 3A state championship.

The Alaska School Activities Association announced Sunday that the Bulldogs got the at-large berth to the state tournament, which runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

The Bulldogs finished 9-1 in the Southcentral Conference this season to earn the top seed at the conference tournament out of the Southern Division. Homer knocked off Nikiski in the semifinals, meaning the Bulldogs could only make state by getting the one at-large berth. ASAA takes into account six performance metrics when deciding who gets the at-large berth.

Homer went on to win the conference tournament, earning the top seed out of the Southcentral Conference. The Mariners open the tourney Thursday at 3:15 p.m. against Kotzebue, No. 2 from the Western Conference.

Kenai Central earned the No. 2 seed from the Southcentral Conference and will play Barrow, No. 1 from the Western Conference, at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Bulldogs face Monroe Catholic, No. 1 from the Aurora Conference, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Soldotna also earned a berth to the Class 4A tournament by finishing third in the Northern Lights Conference. The Stars draw Dimond, the top seed from the Cook Inlet Conference, at 3:15 p.m. Thursday.

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