So far, so good for Juneau-Douglas High School at the Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza.
With pool play mostly completed and Friday in the books, the Crimson Bears are 6-1 and hold a one-game lead over Thunder Mountain (5-2) and Mt. Edgecumbe (5-2) in the overall standings. Thunder Moutain and Mt. Edgecumbe kept pace with JDHS until the last contest of the day at 9 p.m. The Falcons lost to Sitka and the Lady Braves dropped a game against Craig.
JDHS won its first four games before losing 25-17 to Thunder Mountain. They finished the day off by defeating Craig and Klawock. Thunder Mountain improved to 5-0 with its win over JDHS, but then lost to Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka.
Here’s a look at some of the night’s games:
6 p.m. — JDHS 25, Mt. Edgecumbe 21
JDHS already had three wins in the bag when it met Mt. Edgecumbe. The teams split a two-game series earlier in the season, and this game featured six ties before JDHS finally ran away with it. With the score tied at 18-18, junior Addie Prussing spiked the ball down the left sideline for a kill, initiating a 5-1 run. Sophomore JoJo Griggs scored two of the final three JDHS points of the game, getting some help from twin sister, Gabi.
“We have pretty good teamwork even though sometimes we fight,” Gabi Griggs said.
MEHS senior Amy Bioff felt her team needed to communicate more on defense.
“I think that’s what was getting us,” she said. “We needed to adjust what they were doing and really tell each other where they were going to hit the ball. How it’s coming back to our side.”
7 p.m. — TMHS 25, Craig 14
The Panthers could keep up with Thunder Mountain for only so long. The game was close for the first 10 minutes, but Craig had no answer for either sophomore Mariah Tanuasa-Tuvaifaile or senior Audrey Welling, and the Falcons closed the game on a 10-4 run.
“I’m really proud of what my team did tonight,” Craig senior captain Haleigh Ebbighausen said. “We just came out and said we’re going to play the best that we can play, and that’s what we did.”
7:30 p.m. — TMHS 25, JDHS 17
This game featured some of the longest rallies of the evening as JDHS was able to continually get under the Falcons’ attacks. The Crimson Bears fell behind early and played from behind the whole game. Senior Tasi Fenumiai put up five kills, but it was sophomore Lily Smith who made one of most important plays of the game. JDHS scored two straight points to pull within 19-14 and was playing great defense on a rally that seemed like it would never end. Smith was finally able to crack the Crimson Bears though, tipping the ball to an empty spot just over the net to give the point to Thunder Mountain.
“We were able to keep our energy up and our energy is what drives us playing really well,” TMHS senior defensive specialist Kiley Stevens said. “So because we had high energy, we played really well we were able to get a lot of good kills and blocks and good passes.”
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.