Thunder Mountain’s Audrey Welling spikes the ball against Juneau-Douglas’ Shaylin Cesar at TMHS on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Thunder Mountain’s Audrey Welling spikes the ball against Juneau-Douglas’ Shaylin Cesar at TMHS on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Falcons and Crimson Bears to clash in Region V tourney

JDHS hopes to build on new-found momentum

Juneau-Douglas High School will go for its third consecutive region championship when they host the Region V 3A/4A Volleyball Tournament Friday and Saturday.

The 4A championship will be decided between JDHS, Thunder Mountain and Ketchikan while the 3A championship will be a two-team chase between Sitka High and Mt. Edgecumbe.

The double-elimination tournament kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday with JDHS taking on Ketchikan. JDHS has not lost to Ketchikan all season, and another victory over the Lady Kings will secure an 8 p.m. semifinals matchup against Thunder Mountain. TMHS received a first-round bye as a result of being the No. 1 seed. The winner of this game will advance to the championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Falcons were the top-seed last year, but couldn’t get over the hump of winning their first-ever Region V title. JDHS stumped them 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-15) in their first game, and the Falcons lost again to JDHS 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 25-13, 19-25, 15-8) in the championship.

It was a familiar exit for most of the players on the team. Thunder Mountain lost a one-set championship tiebreaker 30-18 to JDHS the prior year.

“It seems like every year we get a step closer to taking regions,” TMHS senior Audrey Welling said. “Last year we were first seed, but it didn’t work out.”

They have good reasons to believe it will this year, though, having dispatched JDHS in three out of four conference games. Their lone loss to the Crimson Bears was on Saturday, but even that could end up helping the team in the long run. TMHS coach Julie Herman said the loss exposed particular weaknesses and the team has been hammering away at them since.

“I feel like we’re stronger now after the loss than we were after the win on Friday,” Herman said.

As much as they celebrated their riveting senior night victory — and it was some party — senior Riley Stadt tried to keep things in perspective.

“We didn’t sweep them, you know?” Stadt said. “We have to keep working hard, we have to improve. There’s always room for improvement.”

JDHS senior Skylar Hickok hopes to use the win as a blueprint for success this weekend.

“The games before, they killed us on tips nonstop and so we actually finally did something about it and started getting every ball,” Hickok said. “Our main motive the whole time was just get every ball, no matter what it takes.”

JDHS sophomore JoJo Griggs, who led the team with 15 kills on Saturday, agreed with Hickok, saying the team needs to to play like there’s no tomorrow.

Because there might not be.

“We definitely have the ability to beat TM and the other teams that we’re playing,” Griggs said. “We just need to keep our energy up and our attitude positive throughout the whole match.”

The 3A and 4A winners advance ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 3A/4A volleyball state championships, which begin next Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

Region V 3A/4A Volleyball Tournament

Friday, Nov. 2

4 p.m. Ketchikan vs. Juneau-Douglas

6 p.m. Sitka vs. Mt. Edgecumbe

8 p.m. Winner of Game 1 vs. Thunder Mountain

Saturday, Nov. 3

10 a.m. Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3

11:30 a.m. Competitions

2 p.m. Sitka vs. Mt. Edgecumbe

4 p.m. Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4

6:30 p.m. 4A Champion vs. 3A Champion


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


Juneau-Douglas’ Addie Prussing, left, spikes the ball against Thunder Mountain at JDHS on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau-Douglas’ Addie Prussing, left, spikes the ball against Thunder Mountain at JDHS on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

More in Home

Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire
A section of Angoon along the coast is seen on June 14. Angoon was destroyed by the U.S. Navy in 1882; here is where they first pulled up to shore.
Long-awaited U.S. Navy apology for 1882 bombardment will bring healing to Angoon

“How many times has our government apologized to any American Native group?”

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
State judge upholds most fines against group seeking repeal of Alaska ranked choice voting

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has ruled that opponents of Alaska’s ranked… Continue reading

Joshua Midgett and Kelsey Bryce Riker appear on stage as the emcees for MixCast 2023 at the Crystal Saloon. (Photo courtesy Juneau Ghost Light Theatre)
And now for someone completely different: Familiar faces show new personas at annual MixCast cabaret

Fundraiser for Juneau Ghost Light Theatre on Saturday taking place amidst week of local Pride events

Lydia Jacoby, Alaska’s gold-medal swimmer, announced Tuesday she is withdrawing from the U.S. Olympic Trials. (Alaska Sports Report photo)
P.J. Foy does not advance, Lydia Jacoby withdraws from U.S. Olympic swimming trials

First-ever Juneau swimmer to compete in trials finishes 49th among 61 competitors Friday.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon announced this week she plans to seek a third three-year term. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Mayor Beth Weldon seeking third term amidst personal and political challenges

Low mill rate, more housing cited by lifelong Juneau resident as achievements during past term.

A king salmon is laid out for inspection by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at the Mike Pusich Douglas Harbor during the Golden North Salmon Derby on Aug. 25, 2019. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Emergency order bans king salmon fishing in many Juneau waters between June 24 and Aug. 31

Alaska Department of Fish and Game says low projected spawning population necessitates restrictions

Three cruise ships are docked along Juneau’s waterfront on the evening on May 10, as a Princess cruise ship on the right is departing the capital city. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Sitka residents join those in Juneau proposing hard caps on cruise ships as tourism grows

Two ballot measures could be presented to local voters in the two Southeast Alaska towns this fall

James Whistler, 8, operates a mini excavator during Gold Rush Days on Saturday, June 17, 2023. People young and old were offered a chance to place tires around traffic cones and other challenges after getting a brief introduction to the excavator. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
There’s good reason to be extra charged up for this year’s Juneau Gold Rush Days

Digital registration for logging/mining competitors new for 32nd annual event this weekend.

Glory Hall Executive Director Mariya Lovishchuk points out some of the features of the homeless shelter’s new location a few days before it opens in July of 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)
Mariya Lovishchuk stepping down after 15 years as executive director of the Glory Hall

Leader who oversaw big changes in Juneau’s homeless programs hopes to continue similar work.

Most Read