Juneau-Douglas’ Paige Adams, center, celebrates a point with her teammates against Thunder Mountain during the Region V Volleyball Tournament at Thunder Mountain High School on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. JDHS won 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-20). (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau-Douglas’ Paige Adams, center, celebrates a point with her teammates against Thunder Mountain during the Region V Volleyball Tournament at Thunder Mountain High School on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. JDHS won 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-20). (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

‘We just wanted to prove everybody wrong’: JDHS upsets Thunder Mountain for Region V title

Next stop: state.

After a one-year hiatus, the Juneau-Douglas: Yadaat.at Kalé volleyball team will return to the state tournament — a trip they’ve made over 20 times — after upsetting reigning region champion Thunder Mountain High School.

The Crimson Bears defeated the Falcons 30-24 in the Region V 4A championship tiebreaker match on Saturday night at TMHS.

JDHS defeated their crosstown rivals in that single-set match immediately following a 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 17-25, 25-19) loss to the Falcons. However, thanks to their semifinals win on Friday over TMHS, which snapped a six-game losing streak, the Crimson Bears were given a second shot at the championship in the form of the 30-point tiebreaker.

Senior Addie Prussing had two aces and junior Jojo Griggs had six kills, including the championship-clinching point. Prussing had seven aces, and Griggs had 13 kills in the prior match.

“All season we’ve been saying that we’re going to peak right at the perfect time and did,” Prussing said. “We pushed and we played hard.”

[See photos of the action here]

Tasi Fenumiai, Avery Kreischer and Lily Smith had three kills apiece for the Falcons. In the first match, Fenumiai had 12 kills, junior Sophia Harvey had nine kills and senior Bridget Gehring had 22 digs.

“We did our job today — we didn’t win — but we did our job,” TMHS coach Julie Herman said. “We wanted that first match and we wanted them to have to beat us well, in 30, and we took them high into the 20s on that last set, and so I feel really good about that game. I really do.”

After TMHS tied the match at 10-10, Prussing, Griggs, Brooke Sanford, Merry Newman and Jenae Pusich went to work, each recording kills in 9-3 run.

Sanford, a sophomore, said Friday’s semifinal win was a huge confidence booster. TMHS swept the season series between the two sides and twice upended the Crimson Bears in the JIVE Tournament last month.

“We just knew that this was the only time that mattered, this was the only game that mattered,” Sanford said. “So we knew we had to put everything we had into the last game. So I think that helped a lot knowing that this was it, this was our last game against them.”

The Crimson Bears were without Griggs for the big win on Friday and much of the last month after an upper-body muscle strain. JDHS relied heavily on junior Kiana Potter in Griggs’ absence. Potter became the Crimson Bears’ go-to setter, a role she seemed to embrace.

“Kiana really stepped up her game the last couple of weeks when we needed her to,” JDHS coach Jody Levernier said. “She did a phenomenal job. She really, really played well the last couple weeks, the best I’ve seen her play all season.”

Potter said it was daunting having several teammates go down with injuries.

“And then last night we played Thunder Mountain and winning that game in three (sets), that was what we needed to figure out that we can do this, we got this,” Potter said. “And then Jojo comes back and has the game of her life. So we had it in us all along, and we just wanted to prove everybody wrong who didn’t believe in us.”

The state tournament starts Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. The Crimson Bears last appeared in the event two years ago, when they went 1-2 to finish fifth.

2019 Region V Volleyball Tournament

Thunder Mountain High School

Thursday

Quarterfinals: JDHS def. Ketchikan 3-1 (25-8, 25-14, 14-25, 25-15)

Friday

Semifinals: JDHS def. TMHS 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-20)

Loser-out semifinals: TMHS def. Ketchikan 3-0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-13)

Saturday

Championship*: TMHS def. JDHS 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 17-25, 25-19)

Championship tiebreaker: JDHS def. TMHS 30-24

*A JDHS loss forces a 30-point tiebreaker for the Region V championship.

All-Conference Team

Jojo Griggs (JDHS), Sophia Harvey (TMHS), Addie Prussing (JDHS), Mady Purcell (Ketchikan), Bridget Gehring (TMHS), Mariah Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale (TMHS).

^

Region V Volleyball 4A Champions (1973-2019)

1973 — Mt. Edgecumbe; 1974 — Mt. Edgecumbe; 1975 — Ketchikan; 1976 —Ketchikan; 1977 — Hoonah; 1978 — Hoonah; 1979— Sitka; 1980 — Juneau-Douglas; 1981 —Sitka; 1982 — Sitka; 1983 — Ketchikan; 1984 — Juneau-Douglas; 1985 — Juneau-Douglas; 1986 — Sitka; 1987 — Sitka; 1988 — Juneau-Douglas; 1989 — Juneau-Douglas; 1990 — Juneau-Douglas; 1991 — Juneau-Douglas; 1992 — Juneau-Douglas; 1993 — Sitka; 1994 — Sitka; 1995 — Juneau-Douglas; 1996 — Juneau-Douglas; 1997 — Juneau-Douglas; 1998 — Juneau-Douglas; 1999 — Juneau-Douglas; 2000 — Juneau-Douglas; 2002 — Juneau-Douglas; 2001 —Juneau-Douglas; 2003 — Juneau-Douglas; 2004 — Juneau-Douglas; 2005 — Juneau-Douglas; 2006 — Juneau-Douglas; 2007 — Juneau-Douglas; 2008 — Juneau-Douglas; 2009 — Juneau-Douglas; 2010 — Juneau-Douglas; 2011 — Juneau-Douglas; 2012 — Juneau-Douglas; 2013 — Juneau-Douglas; 2014 — Juneau-Douglas; 2015 — Ketchikan; 2016 — Juneau-Douglas; 2017 — Juneau-Douglas; 2018 — Thunder Mountain; 2019 — Juneau-Douglas.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


More in Sports

An estimated 185 people, many dressed in unconventional attire for running or walking, take off from the starting line outside Centennial Hall during the Only Fools Run At Night on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau revives its summer solstice spirit with Only Fools Run At Night

Runners and walkers in madcap costumes fill downtown streets as race returns after six-year absence.

Lydia Jacoby, Alaska’s gold-medal swimmer, announced Tuesday she is withdrawing from the U.S. Olympic Trials. (Alaska Sports Report photo)
P.J. Foy does not advance, Lydia Jacoby withdraws from U.S. Olympic swimming trials

First-ever Juneau swimmer to compete in trials finishes 49th among 61 competitors Friday.

Trout Unlimited's Matt Boline holds a container with coho fry for official documentation of anadromous fish use in an unnamed creek in the vicinity of Juneau. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Survey says…

Our floatplane cleared the notch in the snowy ridge then turned slightly… Continue reading

Juneau’s PJ Foy, shown winning the 2023 100 yard butterfly in 48.27 for Thunder Mountain High School during the ASAA state championships at the Dimond Park Aquatics Center on Nov. 4, 2023, qualified for the 2024 June Olympic Team Trials by swimming a 100 long course meters butterfly in a personal best 53.44 on March 16, 2024, at the Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire file photo)
Alaskans secure spots at 2024 Olympics; Juneau swimmer PJ Foy will try for his spot on Friday

TMHS graduate seeking to qualify in 100-meter butterfly at U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

At least one female wood duck has invented a novel feeding technique. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Wood ducks, redstarts, yellowlegs and flowers

Mid-June, and a few days ago we saw a wood duck with… Continue reading

Competitors in the AlaskAcross 2024 race prepare to depart from Eagle Summit at 10 a.m. on June 8, 2024. From left are Bruno Grunau, Mark Ross, Forest Wagner, Mike Fisher, Sarah Hurkett, Clinton Brown, Tracie Curry and Curtis Henry. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Journey through a sub-Arctic summer night

“You guys are the result of thousands of years of selection,” Fran… Continue reading

Barn swallows firmly attach their nests to walls, so they support the weight of nestlings and visiting adults.  (Photo by Bob Amrstrong)
On the Trails: Spring to summer

Spring temperatures were cool this year, but the lengthening days gave birds… Continue reading

In the spirit of Dolly Parton’s country music roots, race participant Mendenhall River Community School Principal Eric Filardi runs in costume with young Lucy Vogel wearing heart-shaped sunglasses as they enjoy the sunny Saturday weather on the Airport Dike Trail race course. About 85 runners participated, many wearing pearls and pink hats provided at the starting tent. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Busting out the pink and pearls at the first Dolly Dash

Dolly Parton-inspired fun run raises funds for free books for kids.

A cruise ship makes its way through early morning fog last summer. The passengers who have been arriving lately have not been experiencing similar tranquility. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Racing the weather

Daylight is unstoppable this time of year. Not like up in the… Continue reading

Most Read