Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A group of alumni volleyball players learned earlier this month what Southeast fans will discover this weekend - Thunder Mountain plays above the net.
“We are pumped to be back in the volleyball gym again,” Thunder Mountain coach Julie Herman said. “Glad to be back with the team. The girls are excited to be together playing again.”
The coronavirus pandemic cancelled the 2020 season and Thunder Mountain missed the state championships in 2019 falling to Ketchikan and Juneau-Douglas in the regional tournament.
The Falcons open their 2021-22 season as co-hosts of a mini-jamboree featuring Juneau-Douglas and Mt. Edgecumbe on Friday and Saturday. The Falcons host Friday matches in their gym and the Crimson Bears host Saturday at JDHS.
“We have all the pieces and have spent the last couple weeks focusing on putting them all together,” Herman said. “We graduated some talent last year and the team is working hard to fill those spots. We have a lot of leadership this year and it shows in practice and it will show on the court this season. We are excited to compete and be tested. We are looking forward to this weekend in Jamboree-style playing against Edgecumbe and JD.”
COVID-19 mitigation plans for the jamboree include players wearing masks and fans having to wear masks and social distance.
Falcons senior Molly Brocious said she is looking forward to team bonding.
“Last year because of COVID we didn’t really get to do a lot of stuff together,” Brocious said. “So I hope we get to do a lot of stuff together both on and off the court.”
Senior Sydney strong is looking forward to actual competition.
“Because last year was cut short due to COVID,” Strong said. “I am looking forward to traveling and playing and coming together as a team. And team bonding.”
Strong and Brocious are four-year players.
“The majority of the team are new girls to varsity,” Strong said. “I am personally really excited to see everybody’s potential and see us come together as a team.”
Brocious also noted the wealth of new faces in the program.
“I think that is really exciting,” Brocious said. “We are getting to see the range of all the players this year.”
Friday game times (at TMHS):
4:30 p.m. court one - MEHS vs. TM1; court two - TM2 vs. JD1.
5:30 p.m. court one - JD2 vs. MEHS; court two - TM1 vs. JD1.
6:30 p.m. court one - TM2 vs. JD2; court two - JD1 vs. MEHS.
7:30 p.m. court one - TM1 vs. JD2; court two - TM2 vs. MEHS.
Saturday game times (at JDHS):
12 noon court one - MEHS vs. JD1; court two - JD2 vs. TM1.
1 p.m. court one - TM2 vs. MEHS; court two - JD1 vs. TM1.
2 p.m. court one - JD2 vs. TM2; court two - TM1 vs. MEHS.
3 p.m. court one - JD1 vs. TM2; court two - JD2 vs. MEHS.
Ann-alese Rentrop (1, SR), Jorda Bastalio (3, SR), Riley Harp (6, SR), Solveig Wolter (9, SR), Molly Brocious (10, SR), Sydney Strong (11, SR), Mallory Welling (2, JR), Elise Duran (4, JR), Moana Tuvifale (12, JR), Talita Toutailepo (13, JR), Ashlyn Gates (5, SO), Kaidree Hartman (7, SO).
Kylee Clauder (5, SR), Mercedes Cordero (8, SR), Jenny Peralta (13, SR), Kaelin Tibbles (1, JR), Kiana Allen (4, JR), Samantha Mead (7, JR), Zoey Moore (2, SO), Jayden Rosenbrinch (3, SO), Kara Strong (11, SO), Serenity Ault (12, SO), Jenna Dobson (15, SO).
Sara Filipo (20, JR), Sophia Nylen (1, SO), Amy Welling (5, SO), Adella Dhilla (7, SO), Charlene Lumba (9, SO), Aaliyah Topasna (11, sSO), Jasmine Louwagie (12, SO), Jack Lovejoy (13, SO), Lauren Strichert (14, SO), Chelsea Cantilero (15, SO), Hilary Nguyen 16, SO), Lehehua “Lei Lei” Fujimoto Vertido (19, SO), Brielle Duran (6, FR).