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With almost a complete new varsity, the Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team showed it still knows how to win over the weekend.
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The Crimson Bears opened the season with two wins over host Sitka on Friday and Saturday. JDHS (2-0, 2-0 Southeast) won Friday 25-20, 25-15, 25-21 and on Saturday 25-15, 25-17, 25-14.
"We came out and were not tentative," JDHS coach Sandi Wagner said. "I was afraid we'd be a little tentative."
On Saturday, Juneau-Douglas received a terrific defensive effort from libero Carly Lehnhart in the win.
Lehnhart recorded a team-high 10 digs for JDHS.
"Carly played really well," Wagner said. "She's our quarterback for the back row. She gets the other players set and tells them where to go. She makes sure they know what's going on with their positions and duties. She reads the hitters and helps figure out where they go."
Defense figures to be an important aspect for the team to master this season. This year's team doesn't post a lot of very tall players, so it'll be up to the team to make up for that by covering lots of ground and being accurate.
"That's going to be what it's all about," she said. "Defensively we played very strong."
Kristie Ely led the team with 11 kills and three aces. Nicole Fenumiai had nine kills, Kristen Pratt added five kills, while Hailey Summers and Susy Hurtte posted two aces each.
Cortney Wagner and Pratt added 10 digs each for JDHS.
"We played really smart," Sandi Wagner said. "They knew where to put the ball. We have work to do on staying focused, but they played smart."
On Friday, Cortney Wagner set the tone with a team-high six aces in the win. She also tied Lehnhart for the team-high in digs with 11.
"Cortney started us very strongly," Sandi Wagner said. "And Nicole and (Pratt) and Kristie, our key hitters, kept it going."
Fenumiai and Ely had eight kills each while Pratt added seven kills. Ely also had three blocks and four aces.
Amanda Leamer had four digs Friday, while Nia Maake and Kassi Allred added one dig each.
Hurtte and Summers had three kills each in Friday's win.
JDHS travels to Ketchikan next weekend for two more conference games.
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.