In the final weekend before their long-anticipated series together, the Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain volleyball teams completed two-game sweeps against Southeast counterparts Petersburg and Ketchikan on Saturday.
JDHS won 3-0 (25-23, 25-6, 25-10) over Petersburg on their home floor while TMHS defeated Ketchikan 3-0 on the road in their first and last visit of the season to the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium. The Falcons also won in straight sets on Friday night: 25-14, 25-7, 25-5.
The Crimson Bears played progressively better in their Saturday win, according to coach Brandee Gerke. Gerke said far too few passes were being directed to setters Shaylin Cesar and Kiana Potter in the first set. After “eking out” a 25-23 win, JDHS dominated the second set, allowing 17 fewer points in an inspiring effort that impressed the coach.
“I just encouraged the kids to have fun out there and bring their hard serve back and start hitting the ball harder,” Gerke said. “They did it — they pulled everything together. Their blocking was on, their digging was on, their passing was on.”
JoJo Griggs and Skylar Hickok led the team in attacks while Addie Prussing provided a strong block. All three players have taken on larger roles on the team after four starters graduated last year. Cesar, one of the key players last year and this year, said the group is coming together nicely.
“We play really well together,” Cesar said. “We drive each other, we push ourselves to play our best. So we’re really preparing for (Thunder Mountain) and regions.”
JDHS and Thunder Mountain square off at JDHS on Friday at 8 p.m. (6:15 p.m. JV) and at TMHS on Saturday at 6 p.m. (4:15 p.m. JV). The Region V tournament is Nov. 2-3 at JDHS.
“The kids know its going to be a close match,” Gerke said. “So we just need to make sure that we have good focus and work hard.”
TMHS coach Julie Herman was not immediately available for comment.