JDHS volleyball drops first two games at Nome

Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball player Leah Spargo practices on Aug. 23, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire.

Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball player Leah Spargo practices on Aug. 23, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire.

Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball will have to wait to get their first wins of the season as the Crimson Bears lost their first two games this weekend at Nome-Beltz High School.

JDHS lost 3-1 on Friday night and 3-2 Saturday afternoon. The Crimson Bears are still figuring out rotations in the early season, and in front of a rowdy home crowd in Nome — seemingly the whole town showed up for the games, senior Leah Spargo said — JDHS was outmatched.

“We’re still tyring to figure out exactly where everyone is going to be, we have a couple new players this year and they’re getting used to the whole rotation thing. But other than trying new stuff, I think the team did super, super well,” Spargo said.

Ball placement and fundamentals came through, Spargo said, but their success was inconsistent in their first matches.

“We have streaks of really strong passing, setting and hitting, just the whole thing, but sometimes we go down a little bit. … We just need to keep it at a constant level,” Spargo said.

On Friday, JDHS split their first two games with the Nanooks, but Nome-Beltz took the last two to win. Assistant Coach Dale Bontrager said home team jumped on the rusty visitors right away.

“They pretty much waxed us in the first game,” Bontrager said.

After shaking the first-game jitters off, JDHS then warmed up enough to take a game back.

“By the end of the second game, we were really getting them. We were playing a lot better defense, reading their hitters better,” Bontrager said.

But JDHS couldn’t sustain that success as Nome-Beltz took the next two games.

“We had some stretches of brilliance, and we had some stretches of not-brilliance. But through it all their energy is positive, they stayed up,” Bontrager said.

Juneau teams don’t normally travel to Nome. Both Bontrager and Spargo said the trip was a good opportunity to experience Alaska culture while sharpening their skills against a tough, defensive team. The team went for a tour of the town and viewed some muskox during the trip.

After taking next weekend off, JDHS will have a chance to record their first win at games against Sitka and Mount Edgecumbe High Schools on Sept. 8 and 9.

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