Thunder Mountain High School’s Jenna Dobson (4) knocks the ball past a Mt. Edgecumbe High School player on Saturday night at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School’s Jenna Dobson (4) knocks the ball past a Mt. Edgecumbe High School player on Saturday night at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Four-four time: TMHS volleyball defeats Mt. Edgecumbe by 3-1 set scores on consecutive nights

Falcons remain among state’s best teams with pair of physical back-and-forth victories.

Thunder Mountain High School lost its opening set Saturday night, but only after giving up the final point in one of their longer exchanges of the season. The Falcons would go on to win the next three sets and the match against Mt. Edgecumbe High School, but those didn’t come easy either despite scores that might suggest otherwise.

The Falcons completed a two-game sweep in two nights against the visitors from Sitka on Saturday, prevailing with set scores of 20-25, 25-11, 25-19 and 25-13. On Friday at Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé, the Falcons defeated Mt. Edgecumbe 29-27, 21-25, 25-16, 25-17.

Alaiyah Topasna (9) taps the ball over the net for Thunder Mountain High School during its game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Alaiyah Topasna (9) taps the ball over the net for Thunder Mountain High School during its game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The wins put TMHS at 21-6-4 on the season (7-0 in the three-team 4A Southeast Conference), with its 0.742 winning percentage the third-highest in statewide 4A volleyball behind Wasilla High School (0.952) and Dimond High School (0.773), according to the Alaska School Activities Association.

Friday’s game was more challenging for the Falcons, at least according to the raw score, as they prevailed in an extended first set and lost the second, before winning the final two sets and the match.

During Saturday’s rematch Mt. Edgecumbe started strong in what turned into a hard-hitting exchange of streaks, saves and spikes. But TMHS rallied to tie with their best set during the two-game stretch, then rallied again from a 6-0 deficit to claim the third set which led to the final winning set by a decisive margin.

Thunder Mountain High School volleyball coach Julie Herman confers with Jenna Dobson during a timeout in Saturday’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School volleyball coach Julie Herman confers with Jenna Dobson during a timeout in Saturday’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

“In that first game, we struggled with our serve receives,” TMHS volleyball coach Julie Herman. ” And so we just talked about how to handle our tri-line better, and spread out and cover our seams. And then the second thing was that we wanted to bring an offense that was disrupting what they were bringing over to us and we were able to shut down their offense.”

JDHS, missing two key players to illness, lost at home to Mt. Edgecumbe on Thursday in straight sets. They also lost road games Saturday and Sunday at Ketchikan by set scores of 3-1 and 3-0, respectively. Juneau’s season record is now 2-25-1 (0-7 in the conference).

The Crimson Bears’ home court will be the focal point of attention Friday and Saturday for teams from around the state as JDHS hosts the annual Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza. TMHS narrowly lost the three-game Gold Bracket title match last year to Chugiak High School in what tournament director Dale Bontrager called an “epic finale.” JDHS finished fourth among the six Gold Bracket teams in the tournament.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

Thunder Mountain High School players celebrate their winning point in the fourth set to claim Saturday’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School players celebrate their winning point in the fourth set to claim Saturday’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

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