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By JOE JUDD
Daily News Sports Editor
The Ketchikan High School volleyball team fell to the Juneau-Douglas High School Lady Crimson Bears in three sets (8-25,12-25 and 7-25) on Friday afternoon at the Clarke Cochrane Gym.
It was the opening match of the 2017 Region V 4A/3A volleyball tournament, but it was not the first time the two teams had seen each other this season, having played each other a number of times prior to Friday’s meeting.
In a match that took less than an hour to complete, Kayhi consistently found itself trailing Juneau-Douglas, creating deficits early in sets that it could not overcome.
Kayhi head coach Beth Sandefur said that there were a few long faces in the huddle after conclusion of the match.
“We’re a little disappointed with our performance today,” Sandefur said after the match. “We have been much more competitive with Juneau-Douglas before.”
The Lady Kings grabbed the first point of the opening set, but then allowed Juneau-Douglas to score the next 11 points and could never quite recover from the double-digit deficit.
Juneau-Douglas cruised its way through to the end of set one, keeping Kayhi at bay in the process.
The Lady Kings and Lady Crimson Bears traded the first batch of points to begin the second set of the match, but Juneau-Douglas quickly pulled away from its rivals and took the set by 13 points.
In the opening moments of the set, both sides had a pair of points to their credit, but after a couple of lengthy volleys, the Lady Crimson Bears took over and won the set.
Sandefur said her players lacked self-confidence and looked like they were too afraid to make mistakes during the defeat.
“They lose some confidence in their ability to do the things they’ve been doing all season,” Sandefur said. “When you’re playing any sport, you can’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s another thing we’ve talked about all season.”
The third and final set began with a little more parity between the pair of schools, as Kayhi and JDHS traded the first few points to tie the set at five points apiece.
From there, the Lady Crimson Bears’ attack was too much for the Lady Kings to handle, and Juneau-Douglas allowed Kayhi to score only twice more before the final match point.
Despite being shut down in three sets, the Kayhi coach said that there are still positives that can be taken from Friday’s result, such as the continualy improving play of the team’s younger members.
Sandefur complimented the efforts put forth by sophomores Ada Hu and Ericka Rauwolf.
“Ada (Hu) had some awesome hitting tonight; I’m super proud of her,” Sandefur said.
Kayhi will begin play at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the consolation portion of the tournament.