Thunder Mountain’s Kiley Stevens bumps the ball up against Sitka at Thunder Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain’s Kiley Stevens bumps the ball up against Sitka at Thunder Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

JDHS spikers 9th at Spiketacular, Thunder Mountain sweeps Kayhi

Both volleyball teams on the road this weekend

The Thunder Mountain High School volleyball team completed a weekend sweep of the Ketchikan Lady Kings over the weekend. The Lady Falcons won 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-8) and 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-15) on Friday and Saturday, respectively. TMHS, which swept a season-opening series against Sitka the weekend prior, improves to 4-0.

Sophomore Lily Smith led Thunder Mountain’s attack on Friday night, posting six kills and two blocks. Seniors Audrey Welling and Marissa Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale stepped up the following game. Welling lined up seven aces and nine kills to led the offense, bolstered by Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale’s 21 assists.

“You get her the ball and she puts it in our hitters’ hands,” TMHS coach Julie Herman said of Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale.

The first-year head coach said she’s looking forward to this weekend’s Tacoma Pierce Country Volleyball Invitational. It’s rare for TMHS to breeze past teams at the tournament, hosted by Washington High School in South Tacoma.

“I want to go down and play from behind a little bit. I want to someone to really challenge us,” Herman said.

West Anchorage Spiketacular Tournament

The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team finished the West Anchorage Spiketacular Tournament on Saturday in ninth place.

The tournament included 13 of the 19 Division I (large schools) programs in Alaska and four Division II (medium schools) powers: Nome, Nikiski, Grace Christian and Kenai Central. In a rematch of the 2016 state championship, Dimond and South Anchorage squared off in the tournament finale, with Dimond coming away with a 2-0 (25-21, 25-23) win.

JDHS played Colony High School prior to the tournament, losing 3-0 (23-25, 18-25, 21-25). Despite losing the match, JDHS coach Brandee Gerke said the team played its best volleyball of the season.

“Colony’s a hard-hitting team and we were able to put up a good block in that game and we were also able to have a strong defense,” she said.

The Crimson Bears started the Spiketacular tournament the following day at Romig Middle School in Anchorage, finishing in second-to-last place (out of eight teams) in Pool B, losing to Nome, Kodiak, Dimond, South and Kodiak. JDHS put up wins over Wasilla (25-23) and Kenai (25-16). JDHS shared an identical record with Nome — two wins, five losses — but the tiebreaker went to Nome, which defeated JDHS 26-28, and JDHS played Pool A’s second-best team in the bracket round.

JDHS rebounded from a loss to the Nikiski Bulldogs with a 19-25, 25-21, 14-12 win over West Valley. JDHS played Palmer in the next round, and after tying the match at 1-1, dropped the third set in a 2-1 loss (14-25, 25-23, 12-15).

The Crimson Bears were 3-4 in sets determined by six or fewer points over the course of the tournament. Senior setter Shaylin Cesar was named to the all-tournament team.

“We did have some slumps but definitely by the end of that tournament we were playing a lot better than we have all season,” Gerke said.

JDHS heads to Sitka this weekend for five nonconference matches. The Crimson Bears play Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka twice and Barrow once.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or

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