By CRAIG GIAMMONA
Courtesy Daily Sitka Sentinel
The Mt. Edgecumbe Braves are starting to look like a team that will be very tough on Southeast opponents.
After opening the 2011 season with a split of two conference matches in Petersburg, the Lady Braves beat Haines in straight sets in two matches at B.J. McGillis Gymnasium Sept. 16-17.
Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd on Japonski Island, the Lady Braves beat Haines 3-0 Sept. 16, then came back to win 3-0 on Saturday in a match that took about an hour.
MEHS coach Rich Calkins said the team passed, served and hit the ball well.
"We did a lot of things better this weekend than we did last weekend," Calkins said.
In the second match, freshman Taryn White showed off her hitting power as she planted nice passes from setters Katelyn Cook and Donnita White into the floor on the Haines side of the net.
“She’s starting to get her timing down,” Calkins said of White, who is from Hoonah. “That’s the best she’s hit this year...She’s coming along like we hoped she would.”
Brenna Johanson also had a good weekend, with 34 kills in the two matches.
Calkins said Johanson, a senior from Hoonah, is so consistent that she sometimes doesn’t get the credit she deserves.
Calkins also credited Maggie Okakok for serving the ball well, particularly on Friday, and said she and Acquilina Active were bringing good energy when the Lady Braves were on defense.
said the opening-match loss to Petersburg may have been an
eye opener for the MEHS girls.
“The mentality in practice was a lot more focused,” he said.
Saturday’s match was not particularly close as the Lady Braves took about an hour to dispatch Haines. The Lady Braves jumped out to a 13-5 lead in the first game and won 25-10.
The final two games were 25-11 and 25-12 as the Lady Braves started to look like a team that will be very tough on 3A Southeast opponents this season.
The Lady Braves have this weekend off before making a trip to Craig for conference matches Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
Calkins said the bye week would serve the Lady Braves well, giving the team a chance to do some “individual skill work.” Calkins said he was impressed with the fan support the Lady Braves got from MEHS students, particularly on Friday night.