Ten different communities from Southeast Alaska will by vying for the J.I.V.E. tournament championship this weekend.
In addition to both Juneau varsity and junior varsity teams (junior varsity will play in a separate tournament), Wrangell, Ketchikan, Craig, Klawock, Sitka, Metlakatla, Mt. Edgecumbe and Petersburg will be making the trip.
The tournament, now in its 26th year, begins on Friday afternoon at Juneau-Douglas High School with round-robin play. All 10 teams will face off against each other in one set to 25 points. The sets are capped at 27 points.
Beginning Saturday afternoon, the six varsity teams with the best record will move on to the Gold Pool. The Gold Bracket will be a double-elimination format. The Gold Bracket championship game will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
TMHS (4-2 SEC) won its first J.I.V.E. tournament last season — an outcome the team is eager is repeat this season.
“It was a big confidence booster for us last year,” TMHS coach Arnold Ibias said Thursday. “The girls still rally around that. Whenever we’re having a bad practice or whatever, they say, ‘Oh, remember we won the J.I.V.E. last year, we can do it again.’ That kind of thing.”
“We’ve had some good practices this week. They’re excited to hopefully come away as the victor again.”
This is the first of two back-to-back invitationals that JDHS and TMHS will play in together. The Crimson Bears and Falcons will be playing in the Service-Dimond Tournament in Anchorage next weekend.
The Thunder Mountain varsity team has been idle since losing at JDHS on Oct. 3.
Juneau-Douglas varsity will be fresh off three games against Ketchikan. The Crimson Bears won two matches in the First City last weekend. The teams played each other again on Thursday night at JDHS.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.