Thunder Mountain’s Letasiilemilion Fenumiai, left, hits against Sitka’s Joei Vidad, center, and Abby Forrester at Thunder Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. Thunder Mountain won 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-16) (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain’s Letasiilemilion Fenumiai, left, hits against Sitka’s Joei Vidad, center, and Abby Forrester at Thunder Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. Thunder Mountain won 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-16) (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Falcons volleyball win nail-biter over rivals

The Thunder Mountain High School volleyball team defeated Juneau-Douglas High School for the second straight night on Saturday at TMHS.

Junior Tasi Fenumiai had 14 kills and sisters Marissa and Mariah Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale assisted on over 40 points in a 25-21, 25-22, 25-21 win. TMHS (9-1, 6-0 SEC) downed JDHS (10-4, 4-2 SEC) 3-1 on Friday night downtown.

“The kids played at a high, intense level tonight but they were relaxed,” TMHS coach Julie Herman said. “That’s where you want them to play. … JD has always been such a strong program that we talk about respecting every point, and every game and every match.”

Two out of the three games turned into who could score four points the quickest. In the second set, the Falcons rallied from a nine-point deficit to tie the game at 21-21. In the third set, after going down 10-3, Juneau-Douglas stormed back to tie the game at 16-16. Ten points later, the game was tied once more at 21-21.

TMHS playmakers rose to the occasion each time. Fenumiai spiked a ball to seal the second game, and Mariah Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale hit a scorcher in the next game for match point. Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale said team’s cohesiveness is the real deal.

“Off and on the court we’re just always together and bonding,” she said. “It’s never ending.”

Griggs led JDHS with seven kills and three blocks and junior Addie Prussing had four kills and 14 digs.

JDHS came out strong in the second game and built a comfortable 14-5 lead that forced a TMHS timeout. The Falcons then went on a 9-2 run which led to JDHS calling a timeout of their own. The Crimson Bears promptly widened their lead to 20-15 and generated some short-lived momentum after a ferocious spike by Griggs made it 21-19. TMHS scored six of the next nine points on Fenumiai’s stellar play.

“She evokes a very high level of fear, I think, from another team,” Herman said. “So that’s why she can just get up and whale the ball, and then she can get up and tip it.”

JDHS coach Brandee Gerke thought her team played great over the weekend, but also acknowledged there is more work to be done.

“We’re going to work a lot more on blocking,” she said. “When you have a team with such a strong offense like this, if you don’t have a strong block up there, you just have to be in exactly the right place or you’re probably not going to dig the ball.”

Coming up next

The JIVE Tournament begins Friday afternoon at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. JDHS and TMHS will be joined by Ketchikan, Klawock, Petersburg, Sitka, Haines, Wrangell and Mt. Edgecumbe at the tournament. DHMS hosts the first six games before the action moves to JDHS. Bracket play begins on Saturday afternoon. The championship game will be played at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.


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


More in Sports

Victor Martinez is awarded the Alaska Fighting Championship bantamweight title on Feb. 26 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Maria Bundy)
Hitting the big time: Soldotna man signs 4-fight deal with UFC

He will take his 7-2 professional record into a UFC Fight Night 181 matchup.

Members of the Juneau Ski Club take ski during a Sunday recreation day. (Courtesy photo / Frankie Pillifant)
Nordic Ski Club and teams prepare to ski into season

It’s easy to distance skiing on the trails.

Eaglecrest Ski Area is preparing for a winter sports season in the time of the coronavirus with a planned opening date of Dec. 5, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Charlie Herrington)
Eaglecrest readies for winter sports season

Equipment rentals require prefitting with the supplier.

Courtesy Photos / Eric HansonThunder Mountain High School junior Kiah Dihle runs her way to an eighth-place finish Saturday at the state cross country meet.
Juneau cross country teams end strange season with strong finish

The race was the first and last in-person race of the season.

Courtesy photos / Debbie LowenthalAbove, Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School students Rayna Tuckwood (right) and Skylar Tuckwood (left) race at the Thunder Mountain High School cross country race course during a regionals meet Oct. 3. Below, Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School students Tim Degener (right) and Finn Morely (left) compete in the boys division.
Juneau runners raring to rout rival racers in state meet

This will be one of the first all-up state competitions since the pandemic began.

Associated Press                                In this March 2017 photo, volunteer handlers guide teams out of the dog yard and down the chute to the starting line of the 45th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, Alaska. The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021, and officials are preparing for every potential contingency now for what the coronavirus and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts.
Iditarod preps for any scenario as 2021 race plans proceed

The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021.

The Juneau Mountain Bike Alliance and City and Borough of Juneau are collaborating to finish a new pump track for bicycle riders in Cope Park, due to be finished within weeks, Sept. 16, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Outdoors pump track work is ramping up

Cope Park is about to have a new way to keep entertained.

Coach Merry Ellefson compliments runners on a job well done after a race. (Courtesy Photo / Debbie Lowenthall)
Long-distance running meets socially distanced competition

Team spirit carries Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School’s runners on where others falter.

Matt Boline demonstrates a drill during a recent workout with players in the 12-and-under group workout at Treadwell Ice Arena. (Courtesy Photo / Steve Quinn)
Photos: It’s heating up on the ice

Juneau Douglas Ice Association’s youth hockey season is underway at Treadwell Ice Arena.

Alan Stuart/Pair of Thieves                                 This photo shows Doug Peterson posed recently in Pacific City, Ore., next to the camper van that will accompany him on a nearly 1,500-mile bike ride to raise awareness for National Suicide Prevention Month. Peterson is riding his bike from the Canadian border to the Mexican border during the month of September, raising money with the support of apparel company Pair of Thieves and awareness for National Suicide Prevention Month.
Oregon man rides from Canada to Mexico for suicide awareness

He will ride across the country during National Suicide Prevention Month.

Capital Kennel Club of Juneau stays dogged, holds first post-pandemic trials
Capital Kennel Club of Juneau stays dogged, holds first post-pandemic trials

Past events had been scratched — and not behind the ears.

Runners jog through a haze of colored powder as they begin a 5k run through downtown Juneau on Sunday, April 29, 2018. (Richard McGrail / Juneau Empire File)
Some local color: Downtown run is coming up

DBA partnered with the J-D Cross Country team will host the 2020 DBA Color Run.