Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team celebrates their championship victory against JDHS on Saturday. TMHS now heads to the state tournament in Anchorage to face Colony in the first round on Thursday. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team celebrates their championship victory against JDHS on Saturday. TMHS now heads to the state tournament in Anchorage to face Colony in the first round on Thursday. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

TMHS volleyball team advances to state tournament

Falcons will take on Colony in Anchorage Nov. 11

There’s much to celebrate for the girls of the Thunder Mountain varsity volleyball team after their victory over the weekend against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, they’re now slated as contenders for the 2022 3A/4A Volleyball State Championships.

“We’re nervous but we’re excited,” said TMHS team captain and senior Moana Tuvaifale. “We’re confident and we’re just ready to keep working.”

Friday was the start of region V 2022 4A volleyball tournament, which first saw Ketchikan High School face off against JDHS in the first game to determine who would play TMHS later that evening. JDHS would ultimately prevail against Kayhi, but it would be TMHS that ultimately came out on top by winning in three sets with scores of 25-14, 25-9, and 25-16.

On Saturday, JDHS played Ketchikan again in the tournament’s third game, with the winner advancing on to face TMHS in the fourth game. JDHS beat Ketchikan one more time in the third game, moving them into the final match against TMHS, but it would be the Falcons who triumphed by winning once more in three sets with scores of 25-16, 25-15, and 25-12.

“We’re elated, it was a very tough match, Juneau-Douglas gave us a great game. We had to pull out all of our tools, our offense, our defense. Glad it’s over and looking onward to next weekend already,” said TMHS coach Julie Herman.

TMHS finished their conference play, including regions, with a perfect 10-0 record winning all 30 sets they played. Their overall record for the season is 32-6-4.

Following Saturday’s game, an awards ceremony took place in which several players from all three teams received various honors, with Ketchikan earning the sportsmanship award.

Along with Tuvaifale, five other players were selected to the 2022 All-Conference team; Ketchikan junior Taylor Jackson, JDHS senior Carlynn Casperson, TMHS senior Mallory Welling, TMHS junior Jenna Dobson, and TMHS senior Talita Toutailepo.

“We’re just really proud of our program and proud of our girls, our juniors and seniors since that’s what mostly we are,” said Herman. “Everybody showed all kinds of skills this weekend, and we’re just really looking forward to the second part of the postseason. We’ve been talking a lot about season ending and I think that we are just ecstatic that we get to play one more week together in a sport that we all really love.”

TMHS will now face off against Colony High School in Anchorage for a neutral playoff in the first round of the 2022 3A/4A Volleyball State Championships at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

TMHS senior #2 Mallory Welling (2) prepares to spike the ball against JDHS juniors Mila Hargrave (8) and Kiah Yadao (5), with TMHS senior Moana Tuvaifale (12) stands nearby during the region V championship game on Saturday, Nov. 5. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

TMHS senior #2 Mallory Welling (2) prepares to spike the ball against JDHS juniors Mila Hargrave (8) and Kiah Yadao (5), with TMHS senior Moana Tuvaifale (12) stands nearby during the region V championship game on Saturday, Nov. 5. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

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