Juneau-Douglas high school's volleyball team continued its mastery of Southeast Alaska this weekend by winning the Region V Tournament at Mt. Edgecumbe.
The Crimson Bears defeated Ketchikan 25-22, 25-22, 25-19 on Saturday to seal the conference championship and a berth in next weekend's state tournament in Anchorage. JDHS opened regional play on Friday with a 25-19, 25-11, 25-18 win over the Kings.
On Thursday, the Crimson Bears will face the second-seeded team from the Northern Lights Conference at West Anchorage High School.
"Every game we're getting more in tune," JDHS middle hitter Lesley Kalbrener said. "Out defense was just awesome. Our offense is playing new sets and is finally getting comfortable with things outside the norm."
The Crimson Bears used a diverse offensive attack and aggressive defense to upend upstart Ketchikan on Saturday.
JDHS coach Sandi Wagner said the team used a multitude of different offensive attacks to earn the region title.
"We've got about 13 to 14 different offensive sets," Wagner said, "and we ran about all of them successfully."
Juneau-Douglas also received a boost this weekend as setter Torie Powers played every game this weekend after battling a multitude of injuries.
After enduring an injured right ankle and a strained neck, Powers returned to her familiar setter position and helped JDHS dictate play at the net.
Powers proved especially important in the Crimson Bears' quick offense.
In the quick offense, the setter fires a short pass anywhere on the court where a hitter attacks the ball before it reaches its apex.
"We did great with them this weekend and it was a test to see if we could put it to play," Powers said. "Actually, it works a lot better than our regular offense."
Kalbrener led the Crimson Bears offensively on Saturday with 14 kills. Jillian Hahnlen and Sarah Christianson posted nine kills each, while Sara Manning chipped in with five kills.
Defensively, Christianson had 11 digs, while Powers had nine digs and Alycia Cox and Rochelle Rodman added eight digs each. Kalbrener also had three blocks while Hahnlen added two blocks.
Marita Rodriguez was a perfect 12-for-12 serving, while Christianson converted 14-of-14 serves. Katie Monagle was 2-for-2 serving with an ace.
Despite the stakes being raised, Juneau-Douglas continued to play with the same type of calm focus it has used since the beginning of the season.
Needing to win on Friday and Saturday to qualify for the state tournament, Juneau-Douglas made sure it'd bring home the regional title.
"We were thinking and had our mindset that if we played our game at our level, everything would fall into place," Juneau's Hannah Barril said. "We had to get that done first, so that was our mindset."
Juneau-Douglas opened tournament play Friday with a straight-set win over Ketchikan.
Hahnlen blasted 16 kills while Christianson and Kalbrener added nine kills each. Manning had six kills while Anne Wilcock and Kate Diebels had one kill each.
Rodman had nine kills, Barril added eight digs, Cox posted six digs while Hahnlen and Christianson contributed five digs each in Friday's win.
Hahnlen and Kalbrener led the team in blocks with four each.
JDHS will practice on Monday and Tuesday before taking off Wednesday morning for Anchorage for the state tournament.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at email@example.com
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