The Thunder Mountain High School volleyball team, seen here in the official program for the 2023 Alaska School Activities Association’s 4A Volleyball Championship, lost their opening game of the double-elimination tournament to South Anchorage High School on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of ASAA)

The Thunder Mountain High School volleyball team, seen here in the official program for the 2023 Alaska School Activities Association’s 4A Volleyball Championship, lost their opening game of the double-elimination tournament to South Anchorage High School on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of ASAA)

TMHS loses opening game at state finals, plays elimination game Friday morning

Eighth-ranked Falcons will face either top-ranked Wasilla or second-ranked Dimond.

Thunder Mountain High School lost its opening game in straight sets to South Anchorage in the double-elimination state championships that started Thursday in Anchorage.

The TMHS Falcons were outscored 25-12 and 25-9 during the first two sets of the Alaska School Activities Association’s three-day 4A Volleyball Championship tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center. But the team, again facing a sizeable deficit midway through the third set, rallied to within 18-21 before South went on to win 25-20.

The Falcons (8-o in Southeast conference play and 33-12-7 overall), entered the tournament ranked eighth among 4A teams as they faced sixth-ranked South (8-6 in the Cook Inlet Conference, 24-21-5 overall), according to MaxPreps. TMHS will next play at 11:45 a.m. Friday against second-ranked Dimond High School, who lost to top-ranked Wasilla High School by set scores of 25-14, 25-17, 25-13.

TMHS and Dimond previously faced off Sept. 30 in the 2023 West Spiketacular Tournament in Anchorage, with Dimond winning 25-16, 25-19.

The Falcons, who have won the 4A Region V title for three straight years, finished fourth in last year’s state tournament.

The opening day of this year’s tournament was played despite various portions of Anchorage receiving 12 to 22 inches in Anchorage as of Thursday morning, with up to four inches more possible during the day, according to the National Weather Service. The storm knocked out power in some areas, several roads throughout Southcentral Alaska were closed, and the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough school districts conducted classes via remote learning during the day.

The game between TMHS and South was originally scheduled at 3:15 p.m. Thursday. It was not immediately known if the weather was a factor in the game taking place earlier, making it the first played during the eight-team tournament.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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