A few more matches like the last two, and Carson High volleyball coach Robert Maw may start pulling out his hair.
Unforced errors have been the theme in the last two CHS matches. On Tuesday, Carson made 50 mistakes in a three-set loss to McQueen, and followed that up with 45 more in a four-set loss to Damonte Ranch Thursday night at Morse Burley Gym.
Carson fell to 2-4 in Division I matches after the 21-25, 23-25, 25-22 and 19-25 setback to the Mustangs.
What frustrated Maw was that Carson led in the first two matches, but were unable to put the Mustangs away.
In the opening set, Carson led 17-12 and lost, and in the second set had a 15-9 lead and lost. Carson actually lost a 20-10 lead in the third game, but came back to win. The Senators never led in the final set.
"We get up on somebody and we can't put them away," Maw said. "I look at the scoreboard and I'm losing, and I look on the court and I think we're the better team."
Kammy Forrest had four kills to help the Senators gain that 17-12 lead in the opening set. However, Damonte scored 10 of the next 12 points for a 22-19 lead, as Lauren Williams, Taylor Nuttall and Jessica Whitney all had key plays in the comeback. Carson closed to 23-21, but a service error by Kaitlyn Jimmy and an ace ended the opener.
The second game wasn't any different, as Carson bolted to leads of 7-1, 12-5 and 15-9. Damonte, led by Katelynn Burkhart, stormed back and tied the game at 19. The Mustangs' final two points of the surge were hitting errors by Danielle Good. Kills by Julianna Anderson and Kenzie Price plus an ace by Courtney Hack gave the Senators a 23-21 lead. Damonte scored the next four points on two hitting errors by Carson, a net violation by CHS and a block by Burkhart.
In the third set, Carson rolled to a 20-10 lead, but that's when things went awry. Damonte tied the match at 21, as Burkhart had three kills in the Damonte comeback. Carson's Hack was called twice for moving before the ball was served, costing CHS a point each time.
Savannah Smith made it 23-21 with a kill and ace. After Damonte closed to 23-22, the Senators closed out the game with two straight points.
"I don't know what to attribute it to," Maw said. "They make a mistake and they down on themselves and lose confidence."
In the fourth set, three service aces and kills by Burkhart and Whitney sparked the Mustangs to an early 10-2 lead. The closest Carson got was two points.
"We played a lot better in the fourth set," Damonte coach Dani Wallace said. "We did a better job defensively. We got to a lot of balls."
• In JV action, Carson beat Damonte Ranch 25-14 and 25-19.
Skyler Jones, Sarah Chrystl and Abbey Dudley were the leading players at the net, while Gina Peacock was the top server with three aces, while Makenzie Tucker and Dudley had two each.
Carson is now 4-2.