WINSTON — The Douglas High volleyball team came up on the short end of a back-and-forth match against Pleasant Hill in the home opener for the Trojans on Thursday.

The Billies fought back late to win the nonleague match in five sets. Scores were 25-19, 23-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-5.

Douglas (2-4) lost the opening set, but got aggressive in the middle sets to pull ahead 2-1 in the match. The Trojans hung with Pleasant Hill (5-3) early in the fourth set, but the Billies pulled away late and carried the momentum into the final set.

“The (sets) that we won, we came out aggressive,” Douglas coach Alisha Jones said.

“I’d rather them make a mistake being aggressive, but we were making mistakes trying not to make a mistake,” Jones added.

Douglas is a young team this season, but features plenty of talent on the roster. There are no seniors on this year’s team and Jones is looking for leaders to emerge.

“They’re all kind of looking to each other right now, but I think once that leadership happens it will start flowing a little bit better,” Jones said. “They have no idea how good they can be.

“They don’t understand that the work that they’re putting in, this is where it’s supposed to come out. They get a little bit nervous and that just comes with being young.”

The Trojans will look to five juniors to carry most of the load this fall. They all played on the varsity team as sophomores. This year’s squad also includes four sophomores and one freshman.

Junior Mackenzii Phillips tallied 14 kills to lead Douglas. Mila Snuka-Polamalu had eight kills, 11 digs and three aces.

Fellow junior Makenna Anderson had 23 assists and six aces from her setter position. Sophomore Ellie Wiegman added seven kills for the Trojans.

Douglas will travel to North Valley High School in Merlin for a tournament Saturday. The Trojans begin Far West League play against Sutherlin on Sept. 19.

Joey Keeran is the sports director for KSKR The Score.

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