Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain are ‘Spiketacular’ at West Anchorage Tourney

    Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain, shown in an early season match, competed at the West Anchorage Spiketacular last weekend. (Klas Stolpe)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain volleyball teams received a healthy dose of competition among 22 teams from across the state at the West Anchorage ‘Spiketacular’ Tournament over the weekend.

      “It was a lot of fun,” Juneau-Douglas coach Jody Levernier said. “There was just so much going on. We had some really great games and we had some where we struggled a little bit.”

      Thunder Mountain coach Julie Herman was pleased the Falcons had been practicing faster offense.

      “We had to adjust defensively against the faster teams there,” Herman said. “We had battles at the tape all tournament.”

      The tourney began with teams divided into three pools for one set matches.

      In Pool A Thunder Mountain went 7-0, Kodiak 6-1, Chugiak 5-2, West Anchorage 4-3, South JV 3-4, Homer 2-5, Nikiski 1-6 and Ketchikan 0-7.

      TMHS defeated South JV 25-14, KTN 27-25, West 25-20, Kodiak 25-13, Homer 25-13, Nikiski 25-15 and Chugiak 25-20.

      KTN lost to Kodiak 22-19, Nikiski 26-24, TM 27-25, SouthJV 25-20, Chugiak 25-14, Homer 25-17 and West 25-12.

      In Pool B Colony went 6-0, Dimond 4-2, Service 4-2, Seward 3-3, East Anchorage 2-4, Wasilla 2-4 and West Valley 0-6.

      In Pool C South Anchorage went 6-0, Palmer 5-1, Kenai 4-2, JDHS 2-4, Eagle River 2-4, Grace Christian 2-4 and Soldotna 0-6.

      JDHS defeated Soldotna 25-14, Eagle River 25-18, and lost to South 25-14, Grace 25-22, Kenai 25-20 and Palmer 25-22.

      Teams were then divided into three tournament brackets, playing double-elimination best-2-out-of-3 set matches.

      Thunder Mountain was in the top Gold Bracket and placed fourth. Dimond defeated South 2-0 for the championship. Final standings were Dimond, South, Chugiak, TMHS, Service, Kodiak, Palmer, Colony.

      Thunder Mountain opened with a 2-0 loss to Dimond, defeated Colony 2-1 and Kodiak 2-1 before being eliminated by Dimond 2-0.

      “Our biggest focus had been to speed up our offense,” TMHS’ Herman said. “Quick sets to our outsides and our shoots and just try and bring an offense that could disrupt a defensive pace so we could get the upper hand.”

      Statistics provided by TMHS showed that junior Moana Tuvaifale had 39 points scored on serve with 17 aces, senior Molly Brocious 38 POS (5 A), senior Solveig Wolter 35 POS (3 A), senior Sydney Strong 34 POS (8 A), junior Mallory Welling 31 POS (5 A) and sophomore Ashlyn Gates 15 POS (1 A).

      Strong kept 71 hits in play, Welling 65, Brocious 39, Tuvaifale 36, Wolter 14, Gates 13, seniors Jorda Basaliso and Riley Harp one apiece.

      Strong had 142 kill attempts and 44 kills, Welling 132 attempts (47 K), Tuvaifale 69 attempts (17 K), Brocious 64 attempts (19 K), Gates 31 attempts (15 K), Wolter 20 attempts (2 K), Basaliso four attempts (1 K) and Harp two attempts.

      Brocious had 77 assists, Tuvaifale 64 and Welling two.

    Gates had 12 blocks, Wolter 10, Welling seven, Brocious five, Tuvaifale three and Strong two.

      Junior Talita Toutaiolepo had 68 digs, Strong 63, Tuvaifale 51, Brocious 39, Welling 37, Basaliso 16, Gates 15 and Wolter seven.

      Juneau-Douglas played in the middle Silver Bracket and placed fourth. West defeated Kenai 1-0 in an if-necessary championship set. Final standings were West, Kenai, Eagle River, JDHS, South JV, East, Seward.

      JDHS opened with a 2-1 win over South JV, lost to Kenai 2-1, defeated East 2-0 and were eliminated by West 2-0.

      “I think we were a little bit nervous at first,” Levernier said. “But we beat East and that was a little bit exciting. We didn’t beat them two years ago and I was told it has been a while. So that was exciting for the girls. I think it helped them realize we are very capable of beating other teams up north. We got to play against good teams and watch good teams.”

       Levernier noted that senior Merry Newman was probably the team’s most consistent player as far as her offensive and defensive play.

      The team was also pleasantly surprised with sophomore Chloe Casperson who had just recently been brought up to the varsity starting lineup and was thrown into the stiff competition of the tournament. She had 16 serves with just one error.

      Statistics provided by JDHS showed that senior Brooke Sandford had 79 total serves with five aces and eight errors, sophomore Kiah Yadao 54 serves (2 A, 9 E), junior Carlynn Casperson 47 serves (2 A, 4 E), Newman 45 serves (3 A, 4 E), senior Paige Adams 39 serves (3 A, 11 E), sophomore Mila Hargrave 20 serves (4 E), Chloe Casperson 16 serves (1 E), and junior Ashley Laudert 12 serves (8 E).

      Newman had 89 attacks with 30 kills and 10 errors, Sandford 56 attacks (27 K, 7 E), Laudert 41 attacks (14 K, 4 E), Yadao 34 attacks (9 K, 6 E), Hargrave 16 attacks (4 K), and Adams 10 attacks (1 K, 1 E).

      Sandford had 15 block assists and 14 blocks, Laudert eight BA (15 B, 3 E), Hargrave six BA (5 B), Carlynn Casperson six BA, Yadao five BA (1 B, 2 E), and Newman four BA (4 B).

      “We talked afterwards,” Levernier said. “We still have a lot of work to do on our defense. The girls started to see that. And just communicating and working together as a team, there were moments where we kind of fell apart a little bit on that. The girls know when it is working and know when it is not. So it is just trying to figure out how to keep that all together and the momentum going. It was a lot of volleyball and there were times in the tournament they were tired and had to figure out how to keep pushing forward. It was one of the things we need to work on and one of the things they did well.”

      Ketchikan played in the bottom Bronze Bracket. Soldotna defeated Wasilla 2-1 for the championship. Final standings were Soldotna, Wasilla, KTN, Homer, Nikiski, West Valley and Grace.

      Ketchikan opened with a 2-0 win over Nikiski, defeated Wasilla 2-1, lost to Soldotna 2-1 and were eliminated by Wasilla 2-0.

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