Carson advances to finals for second straight year | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson advances to finals for second straight year

RENO — They're baaaaack.

Carson High's volleyball team got 17 kills apiece from Juliana Anderson and Jaycie Roberts en route to a three-game sweep of arch-rival Douglas, 27-25, 25-21 and 25-19 in the semifinals of the Division I regionals Thursday night at Bishop Manogue.

The win sends Carson into the regional finals for the second straight year. The Senators will face Bishop Manogue, a four-set winner over Damonte Ranch, in the finals Saturday at 4 for the right to represent the north in next weekend's NIAA State Championships.

"This validates what we've been doing at Carson the last few years," Carson coach Robert Maw said. "It's not just a one-time thing. We're looking to keep that momentum we've built going.

"I hate playing Douglas, but I like beating them. It's tough emotionally for the girls because they are friends yet they are rivals."

The win was Carson's third straight over the Tigers this season. Carson won the first in five, the second in four and completed the trifecta with a sweep. It was a lot closer than the score indicated at least in the first two sets. Douglas had set point in the first and was tied at 22 in the second.

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Carson had trouble with receiving serve in the opening set, as the Tigers gained a quick 7-3 lead thanks to three early kills by Isabelle Peterson.

"It was like it was a continuation of Tuesday," Maw said. "I really think a lot of it was nerves. It took time to settle down."

Carson regained the lead at 9-8 thanks to three straight kills by Anderson, one by Roberts, and one by Maddie Jergesen. Anderson was just getting started, registering eight kills in the opening set.

After the Senators regained the lead, the teams went back and forth from that point. Carson had one-point leads three times while Douglas had three-point leads twice and two-point leads twice, and the teams were tied 11 different times the rest of the way.

Trailing 22-20 after a Roberts error, the Senators stormed back to take a 23-22 lead on kills by Roberts, Dajarrah Navarro on a quick set in the middle and a Roberts kill off the block. Douglas tied the game when Skylar Swartz served one into the net, and the Tigers went ahead 24-23 when Juliana Anderson was called for a lift.

Anderson redeemed herself with a kill to tie the game at 24, but a hitting error by Natalie Anderson put the Tigers ahead 25-24. Carson scored the next three points to win.

Roberts, who had nine kills in the opening set, put CHS ahead 26-25. A Taryn Allmet error gave Carson the hard-fought victory.

Roberts' performance in the first game was needed. She was coming off a negative hitting performance against Reno, and getting off to a fast start was imperative.

"Yeah, you can't start slow against Douglas," Roberts said. "There was a lot more pressure because it was Douglas, and we knew it was going to be an emotional game."

"They would be a different team without Jaycie," Douglas coach Suzy Townsell said.

The second set was more of the same. There were nine ties and eight lead changes. Douglas led by three points four different times and by two points three times. Carson's biggest lead until the end of the set was two points.

With the score tied at 21, Juliana Anderson knocked down a kill off a Douglas defender to make it 22-21. Natalie Anderson had a service error, tying the game at 22. A hitting error by Sophie Byrne made it 23-22 and an error by libero Raychel Allen gave Carson a 24-22 advantage. Roberts closed out the game with a kill.

"We had a chance to win both of those games," Townsell said. "We have had trouble finishing games. We're a young team in terms of experience."

The pressure of losing two games they easily could have won obviously wore on the Tigers, who wilted in the latter half of the final game.

Douglas did lead 9-8 in the third set thanks to a couple of kills by Ashley Campagna and stuff blocks by Talyn Jackson and Peterson.

That would be the last time the Tigers would lead, as Carson scored 11 of the next 15 points to grab a 19-13 lead.

Juliana Anderson tied it at 9 with a kill and Natalie Anderson made it 10-9 with an ace. Juliana Anderson made it 11-9 with another kill. Douglas stayed within two points until kills by Juliana Anderson and Jergesen ignited a 4-0 run to give CHS the aforementioned six-point lead. The Tigers never got closer than four the rest of the way.

•••

Manogue and Carson split the regular-season series, each team winning at home. Manogue won in three and then lost in four at Carson.

The Senators know they will be in for a big challenge. Carson must contain Katelyn Oppio and Julia Wenzel, who have led Manogue at the net the entire season.

"They will be coming for us," Natalie Anderson said. "Manogue likes to take us out of serve receive. They serve it very hard."

According to Maw, serve receive isn't as big of an issue as blocking.

"We have had some blocking issues the past two games," Maw said. "If we don't get things cleaned up we're going to be in a world of hurt (on Satuday).

"Nobody is expecting us to win. The newspapers are saying mighty Manogue. That should help keep us loose."

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