Kennewick volleyball coach Julie Maciboba knew she was in for a busy day at work Friday.
The Highlands Middle School teacher was planning on helping out at a middle school dance after classes were over.
Thanks to a decision by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, though, Maciboba had a much busier day than planned.
The WIAA ruled that University (Spokane) High used an ineligible player and was forfeiting its match against the Lions in the Class 3A Eastern Washington regional tournament.
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With that forfeit, Kennewick’s season was brought back to life, and the Lions will face Southridge at 4 p.m. today at Mt. Spokane High in an elimination match.
“It’s been a chaotic day, but a good chaotic,” Maciboba said. “This is great to have a second opportunity. It’s unfortunate for University to end their season like that, but fortunate for us.”
Maciboba received an email from Kennewick athletic director Ronny Coleman to call him during second period. At the end of class, she tried calling him, but he didn’t answer. After 45 minutes of wondering what was going on, she finally got the news.
“He told me we have another chance,” Maciboba said. “I was not expecting this. I collected uniforms, but I’ll be handing those back out.”
University swept Kennewick last Saturday in an elimination match, but the WIAA ruled that U-Hi had to forfeit the matches in which it used the ineligible player. So, the Lions’ season was revived.
Maciboba and Coleman spent Friday calling athletes to tell them the news, arranging for a bus to Spokane and working out other details.
Two of Kennewick’s players were out of town visiting colleges and had to rush home.
“This late in the season, to see something like that is pretty rare,” Coleman said. “Any chance you get an opportunity to continue your season, we’ll jump on that opportunity.
“As soon as the decision was made, I grabbed the kids and let them know — I got a bus ready to roll.”
So, Kennewick’s chance at going back to the state tournament is alive again.
The Lions will face rival Southridge, with the winner playing the loser of the Kamiakin/Mt. Spokane match at 6 p.m. The winner of the second match advances to the state tournament.
Kennewick has ended Southridge’s season the last two years and would love to do so a third time.
For Southridge, though, the move has caused chaos as the Suns had spent all week preparing for University.
“Kennewick has the right to get back in,” Southridge coach John Lengphounpraseut said, “but it is just weird how the whole thing played out.
“But it doesn’t matter who we play. We just have to go get ready.”