SPARKS — Carson High had to work a lot harder than expected for its third straight volleyball win.
With Jaycie Roberts out sick and Makenzie Tucker out for personal reasons, the Senators struggled mightily at times before posting a 25-14, 33-31, 21-25 and 25-23 win over Spanish Springs Thursday night in a crosover match.
Carson, 3-0, travels to Hug Thursday at 6 p.m., and CHS coach Robert Maw said he expects to have both players back in uniform then.
“We were minus Jaycie, who is one of the best volleyball players in the area, and we were also missing our libero,” Maw said. “I can’t run a quick tempo offense if I don’t have two of my best passers. With the two of them out, we struggled passing the ball. This could give the girls confidence they can play without Jaycie.
“Keelin (Pilgrim) played well, especially the first game. That was probably her best match (for kills) in her Carson career. We didn’t do a good job of blocking (against Emily Moore). Spanish Springs is a scrappy team. Spanish Springs put up a good block in the middle.”
At the outset, it looked like Carson would breeze.
The Senators, behind Pilgim and Juliana Anderson, rolled to a 25-14 win. Pilgrim had five kills in the opening set and Anderson contributed three.
It was a tight set until Carson went on a 9-1 surge to open up a 18-8 lead. Pilgrim had two hits in that surge, Juliana Anderson added one and Natalie Anderson served up two aces. Spanish Springs closed to 19-13, but the Senators got two kills from Kylie Riske to close out the game.
“I got some really good sets,” Pilgrim said of her first-game power display. “My timing was on.”
The second set featured 13 ties — 5, 6, 7, 9, 19, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 — before Carson was able to close out Spanish Springs thanks to a quick-set kill by Maddie Jergesen and an ace by Natalie Anderson.
Carson had a 22-19 lead thanks to a 6-0 run which wiped out a 19-16 deficit. A Riske block, two Abby Pradere aces and a kill by Pilgrim led the way. The Senators were on the verge of closing out the second game after a Juliana Anderson kill made it 24-21, but the Cougars stormed back with four straight points, including a kill by Moore and ace by Mackenzie O’Connell, to take a 25-24 lead.
A block by Maddie Jergesen tied the game at 25. From there the teams traded points until the aforementioned points from Jergesen and Natalie Anderson.
In the third set, Moore had six kills to lead the Cougars, who snapped a 19-all tie with three straight points.
First it was Ireland Bennett off a block and then Moore blocked a dump by Natalaie Anderson and then came up with another kill to make it 22-20. After Carson stopped the run, another Moore kill and a service ace made it 24-20. Jergesen got a kill, but a net violation on Carson ended the game and averted a sweep.
In the fourth set, Spanish Springs maintained the momentum it had built in the previous set by scoring seven of the first nine points. Moore served up two acs and Delaney Spinks had a stuff block and a kill.
Carson stormed back, scoring 12 of the next 18 points to grab a 14-13 advantage. Riske had two kills and two aces, Jergesen had a key block on Moore and Kibbe had a kill. From there, it went back and forth. The match was tied at 14, 15, 16, 18 and 20. At 20-all, Riske delivered a big block and Alyssa Woodward served up an ace to give Carson a 22-20 lead. After a Moore tip made it 22-21, kills by Juliana Anderson and a stuff block/kill by Jergesen against Moore, made it 24-21. A Moore kill and Jergesen hitting error closed the gap to 24-23, but Natalie Anderson dumped the ball into an open area in the Spanish Springs defense to close out te match.
“Natalie has played a lot of volleyball, and I think she showed her volleyball IQ on that play,” Maw said. “They were going for a double block in the middle, and back dumped the ball. It was a good play on her part.”