The Juneau-Douglas volleyball team fell to Chugiak on Saturday in the fourth/sixth place game of the 2011 ASAA high school 3A/4A volleyball championships at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla.
The Crimson Bears lost 3-1 by scores of 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 25-20.
“We had moments where we struggled,” JDHS head coach Sandi Wagner said. “For the most part I was pleased with how we played. We played with heart. Chugiak was tall and that affected us, but we used the block better than we had before.”
Senior Krista Bontrager and junior Chelsea Peterson led the Crimson Bears with 12 kills apiece on 43 and 31 attacks, respectively. Junior Carly Gunnersen had 10 kills on 32 attacks, senior Taylor Vidic and sophomore Gracie Meiners four kills and junior Rachel Doogan one.
“I honestly don’t think we were expecting a hard or an easy team,” Vidic said. “We just wanted to play our game and we were not worried about the other side of the net. Our intensity level was up, but it waivered at times and the game became a mixture of many things on the court… like emotions and attitudes.”
Wagner stated that the change from side-by-side court play in the opening rounds to single, center court play for the last day took getting used to.
“They had some very tough serves that we struggled with,” Wagner said.
“We had trouble judging the court.”
Peterson picked up 22 digs, Bontrager 20, Meiners 15, senior Jean Cumlat 12, Doogan six, seniors Nicole George and Sierra Tagaban and Gunnersen two each, and Vidic one.
George likened the state volleyball atmosphere to that of basketball.
“I would say both are pretty even,” George said. “Both are exciting and the experience is one that anybody could learn from, whether on the court or in the stands as a fan. I thought we did pretty well. We had some rough spots but we pulled through them and came together as a team, which is pretty good for how far we came this season. Chugiak was a hard game with a lot of digs and a lot of long rallies”
Peterson also led with four aces, Meiners two, and Bontrager and Ashe one each. Vidic led with seven blocks, Meiners and Gunnersen four each and Bontrager, George and Doogan one apiece.
“Chugiak was dealing with some of our easy hits and rolls really well,” Vidic said. “At times we were hesitant to hit hard which left us in a rough spot. We needed to play inspired all the time. One play can turn around the way we are feeling. It is subconscious and infectious and if one person can give a great amount of effort than that spreads to us all. Of course I am bummed we lost, but proud of the way we played. As a senior you don’t want to lose your last game but we finished hard and that is all you can ask for.”
Tournament selection officials chose Gracie Meiners the player of the game.
“She served really tough to end the game we won,” Wagner said. “But it was a team effort. As a team we did play well.”
Peterson was selected player of the game against Kodiak on Friday and Bontrager for the opening game against Dimond.
On Friday morning the Crimson Bears defeated the Kodiak Bears 3-1, by scores of 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, to advance against Chugiak. The Mustangs had beaten Wasilla 25-19, 25-16, 26-16.
Gunnersen led with 11 kills on 30 attacks against Kodiak, Bontrager had 10 kills, Peterson nine, Meiners six, Vidic four and Doogan one. Peterson led in digs with 14; Bontrager had 11, Doogan six, Tagaban five, Gunnersen four, Ashe, Cumlat and George two apiece.
Bontrager hit six service aces in 21 attempts with one error, Peterson and Meiners had four aces each, Cumlat three and Ashe one.
Peterson was selected to the 4A all-tournament team and JDHS won the academic award with a 3.74 GPA.
South beat Dimond for the 4A championship and Mt. Edgecumbe defeated Grace Christian for the 3A title. Seward defeated Petersburg in the fourth/sixth place game.
Commented Vidic, “We were playing for more than Juneau, or Mt. Edgecumbe or Petersburg. There is a lot of camaraderie between the three southeast teams at state and we all cheered for each other.”