Panthers, Stars lose to Juneau

Posted: Friday, September 10, 2004

The Juneau-Douglas volleyball team is efficient in both its scheduling and play.

The Crimson Bears squeezed in matches against Skyview and Soldotna at Soldotna Thursday before departing for Kodiak to take on Kodiak and Kenai.

The Bears were just as efficient on the court, sweeping the Panthers and the Stars.

"I'm very happy," Juneau coach Dale Bontrager said after his team improved to 5-0 overall. "This is our first time out of Southeast.

"We wanted to get tested by Kenai Peninsula schools, and we did very well."

Against Skyview, Juneau claimed 25-19, 25-6 and 25-18 victories.

The Panthers had not played in two weeks. Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid said that showed in the her team's play.

"We were raggy," Kupferschmid said. "We had time to work on things in practice, but a practice is not a match.

"Our passing was off, plus they were physically bigger than us. They used their heighth very well."

Lesley Kalbrener and Jillian Hahnlen, a pair of 6-foot-0, junior middle hitters from Juneau, controlled most of the match. Kalbrener finished with 11 kills and 11 digs, while Hahnlen had 12 kills.

"We've got a couple of middle hitters that are really coming on for us," Bontrager said.

Skyview, now 1-4 overall, could not match up with the pair.

"It's good to play teams that are physically better than you," Kupferschmid said. "It shows you where your weaknesses are.

"Hopefully, we'll pick it up to their level."

Kupferschmid credited Amber Kunz with a solid match. The coach said Kunz had a higher than normal hitting percentage and also showed a lot of hustle. Anna Bonebrake paced Skyview with six kills.

"These kids put in the work in practice and put in the work in the weight room," Kupferschmid said. "The big question is whether they can show some fight."

Alycia Cox added five ace serves for the Crimson Bears and played outstanding defense, according to Bontrager. The coach also credited setters Torie Powers and Rochele Rodman for a great job of directing the offense.

Against Soldotna, Juneau won 25-21, 25-15 and 25-17. The Bears also were able to use their height advantage against the Stars, but a scrappy Soldotna team was able to record a ton of digs.

Lauren Sennette paced the Stars with 14 good digs, while Stacey Foster had 12, Christa Kennedy had 11, Kala Fowler had 10 and Megan Needs and Alyssa Roach each had nine.

Soldotna coach Pako Whannell said the blocking of Paige Blackburn slowed up Juneau's attack enough for her side to record digs.

"The girls were all over the floor trying to stay with the bigger Juneau team," Whannell said after her team fell to 3-2 overall. "Our level was our best so far. Juneau's a higher team, and they pushed the girls to a higher level."

Kennedy had nine kills while Foster had four and Blackburn had three. Needs had eight assists, while Foster recorded seven.

Blackburn had two solo blocks, while Blackburn and Fowler each had two assist blocks and Dani Donaldson had two kill blocks. Needs also turned in six aces for the Stars.

Both Soldotna and Skyview will play in the Peninsula Invitational Friday and Saturday in Homer.

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