The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team improved to a perfect 6-0 in Southeast Conference play on Tuesday night with a 25-15, 25-14 and 25-21 sweep of Thunder Mountain (2-2) at the JDHS gym.
The Falcons started slow and the Crimson Bears took a 17-7 first-game advantage behind the blocking of sophomore Maddie McKeown and senior Makayla Pierce and the kill shots of senior Gracie Meiners.
“During the week the games are always tough,” Juneau-Douglas coach Lesslie Knight said. “Our kids came in so mellow that I was worried that they wouldn’t play well. A lot of times when we play Thunder Mountain they get really nervous and over-excited. Today they were just calm, cool and collected. I think it helps that we beat them before and have a sense of confidence.”
TMHS junior Siosi Tupou had a solid floor game and senior Jenna Luhrs hit some key passes from the back row to set up net play and close to 17-10.
The Crimson Bears put together fives serves, including two aces, from junior Cora Bontrager with blocks from Pierce and McKeown and a Meiners kill to take a 22-11 lead.
JDHS senior Kymber Kelly aced the 24th point and after the Falcons’ Tupou and junior Claire White killed shots to work the score, Crimson Bears senior Kaitlin Fagerstrom put the game winner down with a cross court kill shot for 25-15.
JDHS jumped out to a 14-6 advantage in Game Two and used a service rotation of Meiners, Kelly, Pierce, senior Tori Fogg, Fagerstrom and Bontrager to earn the 25-14 win.
Tupou put together a string of six serves with three aces to pull the Falcons from an 8-4 deficit in Game Three to a 10-8 advantage.
The spirited final game saw one rally of 23 touches across the net as both teams refused to give up a point.
McKeown killed the point to tie the score at 14-all and Meiners served two more points including a kill by senior Jasmine Brown.
After a JDHS net serve, Brown killed another to regain the ball and Pierce blocked a shot for an18-15 advantage.
“The ankle is doing really good,” Pierce said after the match. “I made sure to ice it multiple times each day, and made sure to rest it up and elevate it and have my coach wrap it real good. At the beginning of the game I was anxious about blocking because that was how I hurt it. So I kind of took it easy until I got loose.”
Luhrs killed for Falcons possession, got help from an Ava Tompkins block and served an ace to tie the score at 18 before Pierce spiked down another winner and served twice.
Brown and Bontrager both killed a shot for the 21-18 advantage.
The teams traded points with McKeown closing out the JDHS scoring with two blocks and two kills for the match, 25-21.
“We are a team that likes to battle back,” Thunder Mountain coach Adriana Northcutt said. “It would be a lot better if we would start with the energy in the beginning. We have a lot of girls that are stepping up and filling roles that need to be filled. The girls are working through some dynamics the last couple weeks and piece by piece we are getting there.”
Meiners led the Crimson Bears with 11 kills and three aces, McKeown had eight kills and eight blocks, Pierce five kills and two blocks, Kelly five kills and two aces, Fagerstrom five kills, Brown three kills and Bontrager three aces.
The Falcons were led by Luhrs’ seven kills, Claire White added five kills, Tupou had four kills and three aces, Danielle Steinman three kills, Sheridan Cook two kills and two blocks and Ava Tompkins four blocks.