Fog kept the Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team from flying to Sitka on Friday, so the Crimson Bears had to work twice as hard on Saturday to pull out a pair of three-game sweeps over the Sitka Wolves this weekend.
Juneau's varsity team swept Sitka 15-5, 15-5, 15-3 in a match at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Sitka High School, then came back eight hours later to sweep the Wolves again 15-2, 15-2, 15-4.
The victories gave the Crimson Bears a perfect 4-0 overall record and 4-0 mark in Region V-Class 4A, while Sitka fell to 0-2 overall and 0-2 in region with the losses.
"There were some moments we played well, and some moments not so well," Juneau co-coach Sandi Wagner said. "But the big thing was we got some games under our belts. I was going to say it was a good weekend for us, but I guess it was really a good day."
The flight to Sitka was about the only problem for the Crimson Bears this weekend, as Juneau now has victories over both its region rivals in the last week. Heavy fog kept Juneau's plane from taking off on Friday morning, and the Crimson Bears weren't able to reach Sitka until Friday night. The only Juneau team that was able to play on Friday was the junior varsity, and that was only because the JV squad was already in Sitka for a four-game unscored scrimmage against Mount Edgecumbe's varsity team on Thursday.
Juneau's JV team beat Sitka's JV 15-10, 15-4, 15-11 on Friday, then won again on Saturday, 15-7, 15-4, 12-15, 15-5. Juneau's C Team swept Sitka's C Team 15-4, 15-6, 15-4 at 10 a.m. on Saturday, then swept the Wolves again at 4 p.m., winning this time 15-4, 16-14, 15-3.
"They're going to continue to improve," Wagner said of Sitka. "Actually, we had some good rallies and Sitka played good defense. We found some things we need to work on, and we'll work on them for two days before we go up north to play."
Juneau's varsity and JV teams will play four matches this coming week in Anchorage and Wasilla. The Crimson Bears play at Bartlett on Wednesday, at defending state champion Wasilla on Thursday, at Dimond on Friday and at Service on Saturday.
"Our transitioning (from defense to offense and back) was much better this week," Wagner said. "We'll do more work on adjusting defensively, we get a little static sometimes, and on smoothing out our offense."
Kelly Baxter led Juneau's varsity with 20 kills over the two matches and several quality digs on defense. Amy Neussl had 18 kills and three solo blocks, Julie Heard added 17 kills and Nikki Bennett was a perfect 19-for-19 serving with four ace serves.
"I thought Callan (Janowiec, Juneau's lead setter) had a good weekend putting up sets. She was a lot more consistent," Wagner said.
Wagner said she liked what she saw from younger JV and C Team players, such as Lesley Kalbrenner and Torie Powers.
"Some of these kids got a lot of playing time this weekend," she said. "Our freshmen are improving in leaps and bounds."
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