Carson High got a glimpse at its volleyball future much of Thursday night against Spanish Springs, and it was pretty good.
After dropping the first two games, 20-25 and 18-25, coach Robert Maw made some changes and watched a much younger team win 25-20 and 25-22 before blowing an 8-2 lead in the fifth set and falling 13-15 at Morse Burley Gym.
“I was thinking about that a few times during the match,” Maw said after a lengthy discussion with his team. “We had a lot of younger players out there. We had a freshman and a couple of sophomores. I think we only had two seniors out there. I’m pleased with the way they were able to handle the speed of the game. We should have been able to win.”
Freshman Stefanie Schmidt had seven kills and five blocks and sophomore Shea DeJoseph contributed eight kills and four digs to complement Jayce Roberts’ 24 kills, 11 digs and two blocks. Sophomore Abby Pradere set the last three games, finishing with 30 assists to go with eight digs.
And, it should have been enough to turn back Spanish Springs.
After storming back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the match at 2-all, Carson bolted to an 8-2 lead much to the delight of the Carson faithful.
A block by Dajarrah Navarro plus a kill and two aces by DeJoseph made it 6-1. After a ballhandling error by the Senators made it 6-2, Roberts pounded down two straight kills for the aforementioned 8-2 lead.
The set went south on the Senators at that point.
Spanish Springs scored seven of the next eight points, tying the match at 8. Alyssa Zuro had a kill on a pass that went over the net, and Kennedey Stroshine (8 aces, 14 digs) served up an ace. The rest of the points came on Carson errors.
“The girls dwelled on their mistakes,” Maw said. “You have to have a short memory and get ready for the next play.”
A kill and block by Jordyn Boswell (10 kills, 4 digs) enabled Spanish Springs to grab a 12-9 lead.
Two errors by Spanish Springs and a DeJoseph kill cut the lead to 13-12. Then came the play of the game.
Carson served out of rotation, giving the Cougars a free point and a 14-12 lead. A Roberts kill made it 14-13, but Ireland Bennett (7 kills, 5 digs) ended the match with a deep downball that landed on or near the line, ending Carson’s comeback attempt,
“That (rotation issue) was critical,” Maw said. “It was a big error on all of our parts.”
Carson never led in the first two games, and there was a definite disconnect between setter Natalie Anderson and hitters Roberts and Keelin Pilgrim. Roberts had just seven kills in the first two sets while Pilgrim had all three of her kills in the first two games.
At the break, Pradere was inserted at setter for Anderson while Abby Paulson moved to libero for Pradere. Schmidt and DeJoseph were inserted up front. Anderson missed the Las Vegas tournament for personal reasons, and Pradere set in her place there.
It was like a light went off. The Senators played with a purpose, scrapping for loose balls; keeping balls alive.
And, more importantly, Roberts got hot. She finished with 24 kills, 17 coming in the final three games.
“Abby set for us the last three games and did an outstanding job,” Maw said. “Jaycie settled down and got hot. We had some connection issues there. We couldn’t run the offense.”
With the score tied at 13 in the third set, Carson ran off five of the next six points for an 18-14 lead. Navarro had a block and a kill, and Roberts added a kill. Spanish Springs made it 18-16 thanks to a ballhandling mistake by Carson and a hitting error by Schmidt. Carson scored two of the next three on kills by Roberts and DeJoseph to make it 21-17.
Spanish Springs closed to 21-19, but the Cougars gave away two points on net serves, and Navarro finished the set off with a kill. She had five kills and 12 blocks on the night.
The fourth set was tied seven time before Carson prevailed. Roberts had eight kills in the set, and they were all big.
The sixth kill cut the Cougars’ lead to 19-18, and then she served up an ace to tie the match at 19. The seventh kill, which came from the back row, made it 21-19. After SS made it 21-20, DeJoseph and Roberts had kills for a 23-20 lead. Pradere had a key left-handed dink and Ari Schmidt had a kill which evened the match
That set the stage for a quick start and a heartbreaking finish for the Senators, who also had trouble stopping Emily Moore, who had 17 kills and nine digs.
CHS girls roll
Carson improved to 4-1 with a 17-1 win over North Valleys.
In singles, Shaylin Segura won 6-0, 6-0, Emma Rosen won 6-1, Elise Brady won 6-0. 6-0, Eleanor Sturm wn 6-2, Rebecca Trejo won 6-1, 6-0 and Jennifer Artz won 6-2. In doubles, Anya Woodbury and Emma Breeding won 6-0, 6-1< Karla Torres and Maritza Filson won 6-1, Nancy Henrickson and Asby Mikaela won 6-0, 6-1, Heather Camotte and McKenzie Henley-Ball won 6-0 and Amanda Schulz and Emily McCaskill won 6-0, 6-3.
Carson boys win big
RENO — Carson won eight singles matches and eight doubles matches en route to a 16-2 win over North Valleys.
Jared Banard went 3-0, winning 6-1, 6-2 and 6-0. Ryan Tomita went 2-0, winning 6-1 and 6-0, and Bradley Wiggins won 6-0 and 6-0. Taylor Saarem teamed with Jayson Artz for a 6-1 win, and then teamed up with Trevor Dawley for a 6-0 win. Artz teamed with Nobre dos Reis for a 6-1 win. Nico Salm and Danny Dudley went 2-0, winning 6-1 and 6-2. Alek Henricksen and Stuart McElhany went 2-0.