Carson High volleyball coach Robert Maw called a timeout, his team on the ropes and trailing 13-10 in the fifth set.
At stake was the No. 2 seed and a home playoff match, and the Senators’ perfect record in five-set matches. And, to make matters worse, tempers were flaring.
But the Senators ripped off the next five points for a 15-13 win Tuesday night at Morse Burley Gym. Carson won the first two sets, 25-11 and 25-16. Douglas won the next two, 27-25 and 25-18.
According to Maw, Carson would win the second seed in the tiebreaker with Damonte because it had a better Sierra League record at 7-3 compared to Damonte’s 6-4. Five of Carson’s seven wins were of the five-set variety, two against Galena and Douglas, and one against Damonte.
“Tempers were very short,” Maw said of the timeout huddle. “We had to get calmed down; had to let them know they were not out of it. I am really proud of the girls. They are a hard working group and there is no quit in them.”
Ditto for the Tigers, who looked lost for the first two sets until Talyn Jackson got hot and took it to the Senators.
“We had a couple of weird things happen,” Douglas coach Suzi Townsell said. “We fought back, and you can’t be disappointed with that.”
The fifth set was tied 10 times, as the teams traded points like boxers trade punches. Neither team was able to gain the upper hand.
With the score tied at 10, Douglas ripped off three straight points. Dajarrah Navarro was called for a net violation, Jackson got a kill when a Carson pass went over the net, and Alex Demaranville-Robinson knocked one off a Carson blocker.
Maw called time, and the Senators got kills by Ku’ulei Haupu and Stefanie Schmidt plus an ace by Abby Pradere to put away the set and match.
In the opening set, Carson used a 13-0 surge to extend a 3-2 lead to 15-3. Douglas was unable to recover. Pradere served up 12 of those points, and Haupu had six kills, including two on quick sets and two on stuff blocks. Pradere also served up two aces.
“Ku’ulei got off to a great start,” Maw said. “We were passing well, and we were able to run tempo. I think we’re hard to beat when we can run tempo in the middle.”
Douglas used a 4-0 run to take a 10-9 lead in the second set. Isabella Tomassi had two kills in the surge.
Carson came back, however, scoring nine of the next 11 points for a 18-12 lead. Shea DeJoseph and Schmidt had kills, and Douglas made a plethora of mistakes. The Tigers closed to 19-15 on a kill by Talyn Jackson. A kill by Haupu, an error by Jackson and a net violation extended Carson’s lead to 22-15.
Jackson hadn’t been a factor in the first two sets from a hitting standpoint, but she caught fire in the third set with seven kills and an ace. Carson had a 21-18 lead, but Douglas tied it at 21 thanks to an ace by Jackson, a kill by Hailey Hughes and a Carson service error. Tied at 25, Jackson had an ace and Natalie Anderson had a bad set to end it.
The Tigers used an 11-4 surge in the fourth set to take control at 22-15. Hughes had four kills and Jackson had three to lead the way. The Senators never got closer than seven the rest of the set.
“I’m glad we don’t have to compete against Talyn anymore, but I will miss watching her play,” Maw said. “She is a playmaker.
“Our blocking fell down a little bit (in the third and fourth sets). Our strength is when we channel everything to Pradere, and when we can’t do that, things don’t go well. We also didn’t set in the middle, either.”
DeJoseph led Carson with 17 kills, Schmidt added 12 and Haupu finished with 10. Pradere had 23 digs and setter Natalie Anderson finished with 48 assists.
Muckers win in 4
Chelsea Nevin had 18 kills, six assists, three blocks and three aces to lead Virginia City to a 3-1 win over Smith Valley in a Northern 1A volleyball match.
Emily Heinz helped out with 17 assists, three digs, five kills and six aces, and Kaitlin Hames had 60 assists, three kills and three aces. Sydney Shramek and Calli Hess contributed nine digs apiece.
VC is 14-2 in league and 21-4 overall.