The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears volleyball team adapts.
They can come from behind to beat you — as shown in their Aug. 26 win against Thunder Mountain High School. But they can also halt a two-set slump to win the decisive fifth set — as they did Tuesday night against the same opponent.
JDHS defeated TMHS for the second Tuesday in a row, 27-25, 25-22, 13-25, 9-25, 15-13. They have now won seven of their eight games played in Southeast Alaska this season.
Like in their first match against Thunder Mountain, JDHS took advantage of several Falcons hitting errors in the fifth set to come away with the win.
“I think we just have a really good vibe together when we need it,” JDHS setter Shaylin Cesar said.
After trailing by three points early in the set, the Falcons fought back to tie the final set at 13-all. However, Dzinich finished off the set with a block and kill to secure the win.
“I think in the fifth set we’re just tired — but still fighting,” TMHS’ Hannah Harvey said. “But we can definitely win them.”
Cesar led her team with 13 digs while Dzinich — who didn’t even play in the first set — recorded 11 kills, 11 digs and two blocks.
“You can just feel when a player’s hot and when they’ve been getting some kills. So we try to set them,” said Cesar, who assisted on many of JDHS’ points. “All of our hitters are very strong hitters so we mix it up a lot.”
The first set was tight throughout. After five lead changes, Falcons freshman Lily Smith dished up four kills in the second half of the set to tie the game at 24-24. After a Spargo kill, a fortuitous dig sailed just over the net put the game away for Juneau-Douglas.
The second set was even closer than the first. Seven lead changes transpired before JDHS came out on top.
The Falcons played like a different team in the third and fourth sets. Serves turned into aces, passes were neat and on target and Maxie Saceda-Hurt got on a roll with a mix of kill shots.
TMHS opened the third set on a 6-0 run and the fourth set on a 15-1 run.
“We just realized we needed to clean up our play and get rid of our errors,” Harvey said.
The Thunder Mountain JV and C teams play in a small schools tournament at home this weekend. Petersburg, Mt. Edgecumbe and Haines all will be in attendance with one or more teams.
The Falcons varsity play next in the JIVE tournament on Oct. 13 and 14 with Craig, Metlakatla, Klawock, Wrangell, Mt. Edgecumbe, JDHS and Petersburg.
JDHS heads to Ketchikan this week, where they play the Kings on Friday and Saturday.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.