Juneau-Douglas High School was virtually flawless in their opening match at the 2013 ASAA/First Bank Alaska State Volleyball Championships on Thursday morning at Chugiak High School.
Unfortunately for the Crimson Bears their opponent, the Northern Lights Conference number two seed Palmer Moose, played even better for the 26-24, 25-19, 27-29, 26-24 win.
“This was probably the best we played all season,” JDHS coach Lesslie Knight said. “Palmer is a good team. We played with them and just didn’t finish it in the end. We had some close games and we are excited it is double elimination and have a chance to play again.”
A combined point-differential of eight over four games is a welcome match for any opponent of the talented Palmer squad.
“It was a pretty close match, but a lot of fun,” JDHS senior Gracie Meiners said. “We played pretty well. After the very first point in the match we came together and we knew we could play with them.”
In game one Meiners had 14 attacks for seven kills, Maddie McKeown nine attacks for two kills, Makayla Pierce eight attacks with five kills and Kaitlin Fagerstrom had one kill. McKeown and Fagerstrom had one block apiece; Meiners and Kymberlee Kelly one ace each. Cora Bontrager and Fagerstrom led with 13 passing attempts. Bontrager had nine digs, Kelly five, Fagerstrom four, Tori Fogg and Meiners two each, and Pierce one.
“Our energy was up the whole time,” Meiners said. “After every point we came together and got really excited. Our passing was on, our setting was on, and our hits were pretty good. We just needed to keep that up. We would lose that energy briefly and then play the catch up game for a few points instead of staying on top of it. Towards the end of the match we really started to play well.”
In game two Meiners tallied a lone ace. Fagerstrom had 13 passes and four digs, Pierce, Kelly, and Bontrager had two digs apiece. McKeown had five kills, Pierce four, and Meiners two. Fagerstrom, Meiners, Pierce and McKeown had one block each.
In game three Fagerstrom tallied three serving aces; Bontrager eight digs, Fagerstrom seven, Meiners three, Kelly, Jasmine Brown and McKeown two apiece and Fogg one. Meiners had six kills, Pierce and Fagerstrom four each, Brown and McKeown two each. McKeown had three blocks, Pierce one and Fagerstrom one.
In game four Meiners led with two aces. Bontrager had 13 passes and Fagerstrom nine. Fagerstrom led with nine digs, Kelly and Meiners three, Fogg two, Pierce, Brown and McKeown one each. Pierce had nine attacks for four kills and Meiners had seven-for-four. Brown had two kills and Bontrager one. Pierce led with two blocks and McKeown one.
“Palmer had a pretty good setter and are a tough team in general,” Meiners said. “They are pretty strong. We lost to them in last year’s state tournament and haven’t been able to beat them yet but we gave them a good run for their money. We are excited for the Knights.”
JDHS will play Colony, who lost in three games to Dimond, in today’s elimination game at 11 a.m. The Lynx topped the Knights 25-12, 25-17, 25-14.
The Crimson Bears beat the Knights in the championship game of the JIVE this year at JDHS.
“We are excited,” Meiners said. “But they look like they have improved also so it will still be a good competition.”
In other first round action South beat West Valley 25-18, 25-10, 25-8 and Kodiak topped Chugiak 25-22, 25-11, 25-19. West Valley will play Chugiak in an elimination game at 1 p.m. today.
Dimond defeated Palmer 25-13, 25-21, 25-16 in late Thursday night winner’s bracket action and South stopped Kodiak.
In opening 3A action Monroe beat Anchorage Christian 27-25, 29-27, 25-17; Skyview beat Nome 25-20, 25-17, 25-19; Grace Christian stopped Hutchison 25-16, 27-25, 25-17. Mt. Edgecumbe won by forfeit over Barrow as the Whalers were unable to reach Anchorage by their 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. rescheduled game time.
The Lady Braves defeated Monroe 25-21, 25-16, 25-22 late Thursday in winners bracket action and Grace Christian topped Skyview.
“We scouted and watched the Dimond and Colony game so we will be ready for Colony,” Knight said.