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With a very young Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team, Juneau coach Sandi Wagner said wins and losses don't mean much this early in the season. Just so long as her Crimson Bears keep showing improvement.
But with the Sitka Wolves in town this weekend, the Crimson Bears wouldn't mind a couple of victories. Juneau hosts Sitka's varsity squad at 8 p.m. tonight, with a rematch slated for 7 p.m. Saturday on the recently repaired Juneau-Douglas High School main gymnasium floor.
"I think if we beat Sitka, it would be good for our confidence," said Anna Capacci, a junior who is one of two Crimson Bears to see much varsity time last year (none of the current players lettered).
Juneau, while young, can move to 4-0 in Region V-Class 4A action if it sweeps Sitka this weekend. Last weekend, Juneau (2-0 Region V, 3-3 overall) beat Ketchikan in four games on Friday, then on Saturday had to rally from a 13-12 deficit after leading 10-2 in the fifth game to complete the sweep. Earlier this season, Sitka and Ketchikan split a pair of matches, so Sitka is 1-1 in region and Ketchikan is 1-3.
"We learned a lot. We came back after being behind," Wagner said. "We're going to continue to improve all year, as long as we keep working as a team. Any time you play your region matches they're always important. But we're still trying to improve and take leaps forward. Wins and losses are not nearly as important right now."
The Crimson Bears feel more confident after last weekend's sweep of Ketchikan, and they hope they can build from the two matches.
"We played good," Juneau junior Sarah Bixby said. "When we did get down, we were able to come back with confidence."
"We saw Sitka here at the Jamboree (last month at JDHS)," Capacci said. "When we're at home, like we have been early in the season, it's going to be a help. If we can get a couple of wins early in the season when we're at home, we can use those later in the year."
Wagner said she doesn't have much of a scouting report on the Wolves, but the players said they expect a team similar to Ketchikan except with a couple of key differences.
"Sitka has more good hitters," Capacci said. "And they play good defense. We've been working on defense. We need to focus on our defense and our passing."
"Sitka hits a lot of lines," Bixby said. "We've been working on our all-around game."