The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team honored their four seniors on Thursday night by sweeping the visiting Thunder Mountain Falcons in three games at the Crimson Bears’ den, winning 25-7, 25-21, and 25-23.
“Winning on senior night is something you feel like you have to do,” JDHS senior Chelsea Peterson said. “It is your last home game ever. I think it is a really big confidence boost going into regions, to know that we can beat our opponents even when we are down by a lot.”
Peterson and classmates Rachel Doogan, Amberli Fitka and Sally Paul were instrumental in winning their final home match.
Peterson fired off six kills in game one and served the win out with three aces. Doogan started the game with an ace, rolled through four points and had two kills and one block. Fitka and Paul combined for four digs and three assists.
“It was really a great experience tonight,” Doogan said. “I like to know that I can get it in every time if I need to. It is nice to know we won on the day that was specifically for us and we had the support of a really large crowd.”
In game two Peterson exploded for six kills and an ace, while junior Gracie Meiners and Kayla Balovich added an ace apiece. A strong serving show by the Falcons’ Jenna Luhrs kept the visitors within striking distance and TMHS’ Makayla Pierce had two blocks and two kills. A kill by Peterson earned possession and game point for Fitka to close the door.
The Falcons seemed to be more aggressive in game three and took leads of 4-0, 10-3 and 20-11 behind the serves of Natalie Montez, Katrina Greenlief, Danielle Steinman and Kylie Ibias.
A kill by Kayla Balovich gave ball possession to the Crimson Bears and they ran a string of Peterson kills, Maddie McKeown blocks and Balovich serves to within a point at 21-20.
Peterson killed another shot for possession and senior Amberli Fitka served the Crimson Bears into the lead at 22-21.
“I was feeling really nervous at first,” Fitka said. “But pretty confident at the same time because I knew I had to get them in. I was happy to pull off a win like this.”
After another double possession change senior Rachel Doogan served out the match with one ace and two Peterson kills.
“It was really important and feels really good to win in our home gym,” JD senior Sally Paul said. “Serving was key for us today. Our passing wasn’t as great as we had hoped. That third game was really exciting and our serving brought us back into it.”
Peterson led the Crimson Bears with 19 kills and four aces; Balovich had 19 serves, three kills and one ace; Doogan 19 serves, one ace, and 22 assists; Meiners had 11 serves, five kills, two aces and one block; Maddie McKeown had four blocks.
Makayla Pierce led the Falcons with six kills and six blocks; Jenna Luhrs notched five kills and three aces; and Kylie Ibias had 16 assists and five kills. The Falcons will celebrate their won senior night on Saturday, hosting the Crimson Bears for a rematch.
“Our team is really competing with JD,” Ibias said. “It is great for all of us to feel together. When we come out on Saturday we will be excited, we will be playing like we did in the third game.”