The Nikiski and Soldotna volleyball teams play at different classes and in different conferences, but nevertheless the Bulldogs and Stars will meet in the first of two high-profile matches tonight at Nikiski at 5 p.m.
The Bulldogs, who play at the Class 3A level, enter the match at 9-0 overall in nontournament play, while the Stars, who play at Class 4A, are 7-2 overall.
Tonight will be senior night for the Bulldogs, and Nikiski athletic director Dylan Hooper will try and break the world record for the most weight held by a beard.
The Stars are just the type of team Nikiski will have to defeat if the Bulldogs want to make another deep run at Class 3A state, where they were runner-up last season.
“It should be exciting,” Nikiski coach Stacey Segura said. “I hope all of the stuff doesn’t distract us.”
Though they play in a class for smaller schools, the Bulldogs were able to top the Stars 27-26 in a game in pool play at the West Spiketacular on Sept. 15.
“My kids will be ready,” Soldotna coach Sheila Kupferschmid said. “They know they are playing a very good Nikiski team. We are the underdogs. They were the runner-up at state and they beat us at the West Spike.”
Oct. 17, the two squads will meet again at Soldotna in a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Fund of the Central Peninsula Health Foundation. The fundraising activities will include a dessert auction at the match, a serve-a-thon in practice the next day and a class competition for raising funds.