Nikki King (16), a senior, attempts to block a shot for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during the team’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Nikki King (16), a senior, attempts to block a shot for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during the team’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS volleyball, missing two key players to illness, loses to Mt. Edgecumbe

“We have to start focusing on the small wins,” coach Jody Levernier says.

June Troxel, a freshman, was asked to fill some big shoes for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s volleyball team on Thursday night as two key players were sick. But as the lone freshman to make the varsity squad, she’s already faced plenty of firsts this season.

“I was nervous because our setter is really good,” Troxel said, referring to senior Chloe Casperson, who was absent. “And so when she’s gone it’s just like ‘OK, everybody’s expecting good sets and stuff.’ But I think I got the hang of it. And the other setter (sophomore Gwen Nizich), because we were both studying together, we both just like talked and we got used to it pretty quickly.”

June Troxel (4), a freshman, looks to set up a play for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during its game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. Troxel was forced to play out of position at setter during the game due to two teammates being ill. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

June Troxel (4), a freshman, looks to set up a play for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during its game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. Troxel was forced to play out of position at setter during the game due to two teammates being ill. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS lost to Mt. Edgecumbe High School in straight sets at JDHS — by scores of 14-25, 10-25 and 17-25 — the continuation of a difficult season for a young Crimson Bears team. But Troxel said “I think the whole team did pretty good (given that) we lost our main setter and we lost one of our middles.”

The Crimson Bears are next scheduled to play at Ketchikan High School on Friday and Saturday.

The team has an overall record of 1-23-1 and 0-5 in the 4A Southeast Conference. That includes a multitude of tournament games against teams statewide the past two weekends, one in Sitka and the other in Anchorage, which coach Jody Levernier said has offered some insight into goals for her team and what their potential is.

Jody Levernier, volleyball coach for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, confers with her team during a timeout in Thursday night’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Jody Levernier, volleyball coach for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, confers with her team during a timeout in Thursday night’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

“I think my takeaway is that we have to start focusing on the small wins,” she said. “And hopefully, eventually, that will lead to some big wins, but we just have to start focusing on other things. (We) had some hitters run some things that we’ve been working on practice they haven’t done in a game, so that’s a win. We’re adjusting our defense, so that was a win. So I’ve just learned that I have to start looking at some of the smaller wins as opposed to the bigger ones right now, and they are making progress and they are having little wins.”

Thunder Mountain High School, which is 19-6-4 overall and 7-0 in the conference this year, is scheduled to play Mt. Edgecumbe (13-12-6 overall, 1-1 in conference) on Friday at JDHS and Saturday at TMHS.

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

Kiah Yadao (5), a senior, saves the ball for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during the team’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Kiah Yadao (5), a senior, saves the ball for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during the team’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

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