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9/8/2018
Kayhi falls to JDHS in home opener
Juneau-Douglas High School middle hitter JoJo Griggs prepares to spike the ball on Friday at the Ketchikan High School Lady Kings during a 3-0 loss in Clark Cochrane Gymnasium. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek


By SCOTT BOWLEN
Daily News Staff Writer

The Ketchikan High School Lady Kings varsity had many good moments Friday evening, but not enough to challenge the visiting squad from Juneau-Douglas High School.

The Lady Crimson Bears prevailed in three straight sets at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium, recording scores of 25-10, 25-10 and 25-5 on the strength of some powerful serving and hits by several players.

The teams will meet again on Saturday, and Kayhi head coach Beth Sandefur is looking for the Lady Kings to come out with positive attitudes, have fun and focus on improving.

“One thing that I tell them is, we have to reset,” she said. “We can't be thinking about what happened tonight when we come in tomorrow. It’s a new day and a new game.”

Juneau-Douglas’ service game was on target from the start of the opening set, with Shaylin Cesar serving during the first 10 points of the match, backed by kills from middle hitter JoJo Griggs and outside hitter Jenae Pusich.

Kayhi made a move sparked by defensive work by libero Sarah Palaruan, a good swing by Mackenzie Merrill and a block by Louise Peterson.

The Lady Kings outside hitter Ada Hu then scored back-to-back points on a pair of hits that bamboozled the Juneau-Douglas back row.

But with the score then at 8-15, the Lady Crimson Bears came back swinging. Griggs and outside hitter Riley Stadt recorded kills while the service game remained stout en route to the 25-10 win.

The second set saw the Lady Crimson Bears open a quick lead again, followed by a mid-set rally by Kayhi. The Lady Kings’ middle hitter Autumn Yeisley had some good play at the net during the set.

But again, Kayhi had difficulty in handling the Juneau-Douglas service game, especially the jump-serve of Stadt at the close of the second set.

Kayhi middle hitter Madison Purcell opened the third set with a nice block, followed by several good serves as the Lady Kings brought the score to 4-6. But while Palaruan, defensive specialist Zoe Rouleau, Purcell and other Lady Kings were able to get a handle on some of the Juneau-Douglas serves and attacks, Kayhi couldn’t get its offense off the ground.

And starting her service with Juneau-Douglas leading 11-5, Griggs held the serve for Juneau-Douglas for the remainder of the game.

 After the match Sandefur noted that the Juneau-Douglas squad has some hard hitters, and that Kayhi is very capable of getting the ball up after it’s come over the net.

“What we need to work on is control of that pass, so not just getting a touch on the ball but getting it to our setters so we can actually run our offense,” Sandefur said. “During time out and between games, what we kept saying to the girls was we need to be hitting the ball more. Every time the ball's on our side, we need to try to hit the ball.”

Kayhi had played the Lady Crimson Bears in Juneau this past week, coming up short in three straight sets. Sandefur said Juneau-Douglas has a consistent system and, for the most part, Kayhi knows what’s coming.

“They don’t switch it up a lot,” she said. “They hit angles almost every time from the outside, and weve been adjusting to that. So we’ve been getting some awesome digs on that angle shot from (Palaruan and Rouleau).”

She also cited Purcell and Hu as having made some nice, strong swings during the course of the match.

“The first two sets we were having fun and we were excited for our victories and staying focused on improving when we were making mistakes,” Sandefur said. “That last game we kind of got down on ourselves a little bit and let them really run on us. So that's our goal for tomorrow, is just to stay positive and just remember were supposed to be having fun.”

Saturday’s matches are scheduled to start with the C-teams at 2 p.m, followed by JV at around 3 p.m. and varsity at around 4:30 p.m. All matches are at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.

On Friday, the Juneau-Douglas C-team won in three sets: 25-6, 25-23 and 25-18.

The Lady Kings JV won the first two sets, 25-13 and 25-18, before Juneau-Douglas clawed their way back into the match by winning the next two sets, 25-22 and 25-22. Kayhi came back to win the fifth set by a score of 15-9.