The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team opened its 2018 campaign with a 25-8, 25-10, 25-13 victory over the Ketchikan Lady Kings.
Sophomore JoJo Griggs recorded eight kills in the win and senior Riley Stadt added nine digs and five kills. Senior Shaylin Cesar contributed a team-high nine aces.
“I thought they played so great, they made it easy on me,” JDHS first-year head coach Brandee Gerke said with a laugh.
Griggs’ kill shot to the back right corner capped a 7-1 run to start the first set and things continued to go the way of JDHS in the second set.
Cesar’s serve skimmed just past the top of the net before landing in front of a Kayhi defender to give JDHS a 2-1 lead. Ketchikan cut the deficit to 4-3 but would concede the next six points as Griggs racked up several aces and Ada Hu was called for a carry. The Crimson Bears led by at least five points the rest of the set, taking advantage of unforced Ketchikan errors and well-placed serves.
Griggs and Skylar Hickok contributed back-to-back points to finish out the set. Hickok set up on the left side and angled the ball sharply across the net before it bounced off the wrist of Louisse Bueno and went out of play.
“We’ve gotten to the point where we know our space awareness between each other and when someone’s on we know how to set them,” Stadt said of JDHS’ front row. “We’ve also worked on about five new hits and so we have different levels of hitting.”
After an intermission, the Crimson Bears breezed through the third set as Cesar and Griggs combined for eight aces. Cesar served up the first five points of the set and Kayhi coach Beth Sandefur called a timeout after JDHS’ lead swelled to 10-2. The interruption did little to slow the Crimson Bears, who benefitted from seven Ketchikan service errors in the set (the Lady Kings had 13 in the game).
“Our only conference teams are JDHS and Thunder Mountain, so every time we’re in Juneau, I feel like my girls get really jittery, they just get nervous, and so I don’t feel tonight we saw my team the way they normally play,” Sandefur said.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.