It's never really over until it's finally over.
Down 2-0 in a best of five championship match, the Colony Knights battled back against the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears, winning the 13th Annual Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza with a 15-11 victory in the decisive game five.
"It was a hard fought match," said Juneau coach Dale Bontrager. "It came down to the last game and the kids played their hearts out. Colony just came out on top tonight."
After beating Colony 28-26 and 25-12, Juneau let their 2-0 lead slip away as the Knights won 25-11 and 25-18, sending the match into a game five. Tied 11-11 in the final game, the Knights turned on the heat and scored the final four points to walk away with the championship.
"I think the girls were a little bit fatigued and they haven't been challenged like that before," Colony coach Faith Scott said. "I think that they just really dug deep and they played good defense, I think that really was the key to our victory."
"I couldn't be more proud of our team," Juneau senior Julie Heard said. "We went so far. We played with all of our heart and it feels like we won ... Playing as a team, we just grew so much."
Scott said the young Crimson Bears team was really good competition and that they will be an exciting team to watch in the future.
"(Coach Wagner) said that they're a young team but I think they are going to be a really good team in the future if they're that young and they're that good now," Scott said.
In the first round of bracket play, Juneau built a seven-point lead on Cordova and never trailed in the first game. Juneau won 25-16, 28-26.
After the Wolverines closed to within 8-4, the Crimson Bears went on a 12-4 run, aided by two kills apiece from seniors Karla Dunivin and Heard.
In the second game, Juneau found itself trailing 14-3 as Cordova's Lynsey Adams had two kills and the Crimson Bears had difficulty handling the serving of Adams and teammate Meagan Newirth.
Juneau started chipping away with strong serving from Heard and sophomore Torie Powers, who narrowed the gap to 16-13. After Cordova increased its lead to 20-14, sophomore Alycia Cox and Dunivin served to bring Juneau to within a point, 22-21.
The teams tied at 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 before Cordova was unable to handle two of Powers' serves to give Juneau the 28-26 win.
"They persevered and came back, and that shows a lot of character," Juneau coach Sandi Wagner said after the match. "We haven't played our best, but I'm pleased with the way they came back."
Heard was 15-for-15 serving with six aces in the match against Cordova, and she added eight kills and 13 digs. Dunivin had 10 kills, junior Amber Johnson had seven digs and Powers had five digs.
"That was what I think got us into the finals," Bontrager said. "Just the confidence that they could come back and beat a quality team like Cordova."
Juneau faced number one seed Palmer in its semifinal match, one of Juneau's first big tests, which came down to a decisive game three. Sparked by the leadership of seniors Heard and Dunivin, the Crimson Bears won 25-19 in the opening game, only to fall victim to their first loss of the tournament as the Moose's' orchestrated a late game comeback, winning 25-19. Facing elimination for the first time this weekend, Dunivin delivered some powerful kills as Juneau went on to win the match with 15-10, sending them to the championship match against the Colony Knights.
"Beating Palmer was fun, it was all fun," Dunivin said. "I think we played really well the entire time. I couldn't be happier, we played great."
The Crimson Bears had a 4-0 record in mini-matches during the tourney's first round Friday. Juneau defeated Cordova 25-14, 25-15 and beat Mount Edgecumbe 25-20, 25-23.
Heard had 12 kills and eight digs against Cordova, and Dunivin added eight kills and six digs. In the first game with Mount Edgecumbe, Heard was 13-for-13 serving with two aces. In the entire match against the Braves, Dunivin had 10 kills and senior Heather Dillon had three aces on 6-of-7 serving.
In the second round, Juneau was swept by Colony 19-25, 22-25 on Friday night. On Saturday, the Crimson Bears split with the Glennallen Wolverines 25-13, 23-25, then swept the Wrangell Wolves 25-9, 25-16.
Dunivin had 11 kills and Heard added 10 kills against the Knights, while sophomore Hannah Barril was 11-for-12 serving with four aces.
In the match against Glennallen, Heard had nine kills, while Dunivin had eight kills. Heard had nine more kills against Wrangell, while in the first game Powers was 12-for-12 serving with three aces, and in the second game Barril was 8-for-8 serving with two aces.
The Juneau 2 squad, the Crimson Bear junior varsity team, drew tough opening round match-ups against Colony and Petersburg and were swept - 25-12, 25-14 by the Knights and 25-13, 25-11 to the Vikings. In the second round, Juneau 2 lost to Mount Edgecumbe in a close match 27-25, 25-23; lost to Sitka 25-18, 25-7; and beat Haines 25-11, 25-9.
In the consolation bracket, Juneau 2 fell to Ketchikan in the opening round 25-16, 25-13.
Results from the Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza (JIVE Tournament) held Friday and Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School.
Championship match (best three of five games) - Colony def. Juneau 1, 26-28, 12-25, 25-11, 25-18, 15-11.
Semifinals (best two of three games) - Juneau 1 def. Palmer, 25-19, 19-25, 15-10; Colony def. Petersburg, 25-15, 25-13.
First round (best two of three games) - Juneau 1 def. Cordova, 25-16, 28-26; Petersburg def. Glennallen, 29-27, 25-3; Palmer, bye; Colony, bye.
Consolation championship (best three of five games) - Wrangell def. Ketchikan, 25-17, 25-17, 23-25, 25-14.
Semifinals (best two of three games) - Ketchikan def. Sitka, 17-25, 25-16, 15-10; Wrangell def. Mount Edgecumbe, 25-12, 25-22.
First round (best two of three games) - Ketchikan def. Juneau 2, 25-16, 25-13; Wrangell def. Haines, 23-25, 25-4, 15-13; Sitka, bye; Mount Edgecumbe, bye.
Friday's and Saturday's round-robin results
Red pool - Standings: 1. Colony, 5-1; 2. Juneau, 3-3; 3. Glennallen, 3-3; 4. Wrangell, 1-5. Mini-match scores: Colony def. Juneau, 25-19, 25-22; Glennallen def. Wrangell, 25-23, 25-20; Juneau split Glennallen, 25-13, 23-25; Juneau def. Wrangell 25-9, 25-16; Colony split Wrangell 24-26, 25-11; Colony def. Glennallen, 25-16, 25-16.
White pool - Standings: 1. Palmer, 6-0; 2. Petersburg, 3-3; 3. Cordova, 2-4; 4. Ketchikan, 1-5. Mini-match scores: Palmer def. Ketchikan, 25-15, 25-20; Petersburg split Cordova, 23-25, 25-20; Petersburg def. Ketchikan, 25-16, 25-9; Ketchikan split Cordova, 23-25, 25-22; Palmer def. Petersburg, 25-18, 25-21; Palmer def. Cordova, 25-23, 25-12.
Blue pool - Standings: 1. Sitka, 5-1; 2. Mount Edgecumbe, 5-1; 3. Juneau 2, 2-4; 4. Haines, 0-6. Mini-match scores: Sitka def. Haines, 25-8, 25-14; Mount Edgecumbe def. Juneau 2, 27-25, 25-23; Sitka def. Juneau 2, 25-18, 25-7; Mount Edgecumbe def. Haines, 25-21, 25-15; Sitka split Mount Edgecumbe, 25-12, 22-25; Juneau 2 def. Haines, 25-11, 25-9.
Friday's round-robin results
Pool A - Standings: 1. Palmer, 4-0; 2. Wrangell, 1-3; 3. Sitka, 1-3. Mini-match scores: Palmer def. Sitka, 25-12, 25-13; Palmer def. Wrangell, 25-19, 25-18; Sitka split Wrangell, 21-25, 25-21.
Pool B - Standings: 1. Ketchikan, 4-0; 2. Glennallen, 2-2; 3. Haines, 0-4. Mini-match scores: Glennallen def. Haines, 25-11, 25-18; Ketchikan def. Glennallen, 29-27, 25-22; Ketchikan def. Haines, 25-20, 25-18.
Pool C - Standings: 1. Colony, 4-0; 2. Petersburg, 2-2; 3. Juneau 2, 0-4. Mini-match scores: Colony def. Juneau 2, 25-12, 25-14; Colony def. Petersburg, 25-20, 25-13; Petersburg def. Juneau 2, 25-13, 25-11.
Pool D - Standings: 1. Juneau, 4-0; 2. Cordova, 2-2; 3. Mount Edgecumbe, 0-4. Mini-match scores: Cordova def. Mount Edgecumbe, 25-12, 25-14; Juneau def. Cordova, 25-14, 25-15; Juneau def. Mount Edgecumbe, 25-20, 25-23.
Karla Dunivin, Juneau-Douglas; Julie Heard, Juneau-Douglas; Mandee Versteeg, Petersburg; Britni Birchell, Petersburg; Laura McCay, Wrangell; Amanda Aafedt, Colony; Karin Dau, Colony; Kristina Klapperich, Colony; Lynsey Adams, Cordova; Stephanie Peters, Glennallen; Jayme Irvine, Palmer; Jessie Macknicki, Palmer.