Thunder Mountain High School senior Amy Schoonover wanted to play her best on Saturday with plenty of family — including an uncle wearing lit Christmas lights and large No. 2 cutouts — in attendance for senior night.
“It makes me want to prove to them that everything I do is actually for something, all my volleyball practices (are for something),” Schoonover said. “It kind of makes me just want to make them proud.”
She and her teammates didn’t disappoint.
Thunder Mountain upended crosstown rival Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé for the fourth time this season in conference play, winning 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-23). The Falcons conclude the regular season with a perfect 8-0 conference record and will receive a first-round bye in the Region V 4A Volleyball Tournament that starts this week at TMHS.
“I think we’re really satisfied,” said TMHS coach Julie Herman, whose team will contend with JDHS and Ketchikan for the Region V 4A title. “Our goal was to come into regions first seed, no other reason than it’s the highest seed that we could be and we always want to try to play at our best and go for whatever the top goal is.”
“Regions is about the team that shows up with the most heart,” she added. “So it’s going to be whoever does that that could win. So yes, we’re satisfied, but now it’s everybody 0-0-0, so undefeated doesn’t mean anything in regions.”
TMHS senior Tasi Fenumiai had nine kills and junior Mariah Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale had 15 digs in the win.
The home team rallied from an eight-point deficit in the third set. After Fenumiai tied the game at 23-all, senior Chayla Ault took over from the service line, delivering two strong serves for the go-ahead and match points.
“I served it on the line,” said Ault, who wore several candy leis given to her during the senior night festivities. “I was aiming for the line, too, because that’s a big tough serve and I got it, so I just felt so good.”
JDHS honors small senior class
The Falcons’ senior night followed the Crimson Bears’ senior night on Friday night when TMHS won 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-20). The Crimson Bears have been without their star setter junior JoJo Griggs, who suffered an upper-body injury last week that kept her out of the Dimond Service Volleyball Tournament.
JDHS seniors Abby Dean and Addie Prussing said the loss just added more fuel to the fire.
“We kind of use it as motivation because it’s another challenge we have to overcome,” Dean said after the Friday loss. “We really try to just rally together, bring the energy same as before, and just say we can do this without her.”
The JDHS classmates weren’t supposed to be the only seniors celebrated Friday. After injuries whittled down the senior class to just two, the duo kept marching on. Jody Levernier, who coached them at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School before being named the JDHS coach this year, said she was proud of them.
“Pretty good little human beings,” Levernier said of the pair. “I’d keep them back — they can repeat senior year if they want.”
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.