SPARKS — Beating Spanish Springs is tough when you’re at full strength. When you are minus three players, two of whom play significant minutes, that task becomes impossible.
With starting setter Danielle Good and reserve hitter Marlenne Quirarte benched for violation of team rules, and Gina Peacock out for medical reasons, Spanish Springs rolled to a 25-18, 25-17 and 25-16 win over he out-manned Senators in the opening round of the Division I regional volleyball playoffs Tuesday night.
Carson ended the season with an overall record of 14-17.
“I’m looking forward to next year,” coach Robert Maw. “We have a great corp of girls coming back. The young girls stepped up tonight and played hard.”
Juliana Anderson led Carson with eight kills, while Gabrielle Palazzolo and Yana Spence added four each. Savannah Smith and Kylie Riske added two apiece. Jaycie Roberts had 12 digs and Smith nine, and Sarah Christl had 13 assists with Makenzie Tucker adding six. Anderson finished the season with 210 kills.
The first game was knotted at 12-12, but Spanish Springs ripped off the next four points, a spurt capped by a Brandi Brucato ace, and it did not relinquish its lead. The Cougars extended their edge to 20-14, but Carson scored four of the next five points to pull within three, 21-18. Anderson served up an ace on the final point of the mini-run for Carson.
That’s as good as it got for the guests. Spanish Springs got two aces from Kate Castro and scored four straight points to finish off the first game.
The two teams traded points early in Game 2. Carson did have the 7-6 lead but it was the Senators’ last lead of the night. The Cougars proceeded to put together a 6-1 run, capped by another Brucato ace, forging ahead 12-8. Spanish Springs kept building on its lead. A Tayler Lodge kill left the Cougars on top 16-10. A few minutes later, Carson could not get the ball over the net and Spanish Springs pushed its lead to a game-high nine points, 22-13. Carson’s Jaycie Roberts hit a ball wide on the final point as Spanish Springs grabbed Game 2.
Like the first two games, Game 3 was close initially. The playoff foes were deadlocked at 7-7 before Spanish Springs again grabbed the momentum and ran away.
The Cougars strung together five straight points to lead 12-7. After Carson made it 12-9, Spanish Springs responded with a 7-1 outburst to go ahead 19-10. The Senators showed brief signs of life. They answered with four straight points of their own, trimming the SS lead to 19-15. Carson could get no closer. Spanish Springs finished the game on a 6-1 run. Castro put away a ball for a kill on match point.
“Anytime you get a sweep in the playoffs, it’s nice for your team,” Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. “I thought we started a little slow. We were waiting for the game to come to us instead of being the aggressor ... As we got going, I thought our defense got a lot better.
“After the first 11 points or so in Game 1, I thought we played some of the best defense we’ve played all year.”
Dayton hosts 1A playoffs
Dayton, which went undefeated in 1A competition this year, opens with fourth-place Lowry, 9-7, at noon Saturday in the opening game of the league playoffs.
Truckee, 13-3 and the No. 2 seed, meets Elko at 2 p.m.
The winners of the two matches collide for the championship. The two finalists automatically qualify for the state championship in Las Vegas Nov. 15-16.
Carson meets Reno
Carson High’s girls soccer team battles Reno today at 4:15 p.m. at Damonte Ranch in the Division I semifinals with a berth in the regional finals and state championships at stake.
In the other semifinal, Sierra League rivals Galena and Douglas meet at 6:15 p.m. The two winners today meet Saturday at noon at Bishop Manogue for the regional title. Both the state finalists automatically advance to the state tourney Nov. 15-16 at Carson.