Just get to game five and somehow and some way the Carson High volleyball team will figure out how to get it done.
The Senators are now 6-for-6 in five-game matches this year, coming back for a 25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12 win over Spanish Springs at Morse Burley Gym on Tuesday night in the NIAA Northern 4A Regional Playoffs. Carson advanced to the Northern 4A finals as it will travel to Reno High, a winner against Douglas in four games.
Carson had a little luck on its side to finish off the match as with the Senators leading 14-12, Natalie Anderson fought off a kill that was drilled by the Cougars and her return landed on the other side of the net where nobody was home for match point.
“That was definitely a lot of luck,” Anderson admitted. “That was just really lucky but it went over the net. That’s great that we were a little lucky that time, I guess.”
But there’s more than just luck in the Senators’ ability to go unbeaten in five-game matches this year. Carson earned the home playoff match to end the regular season by overcoming a 13-10 deficit in the fifth game against Douglas.
“I think it really helped to be in that position,” said Anderson about that experience against Douglas. “I think we were a little bit calmer this time and we handled it.”
Carson was able to make it to a fifth game thanks in large part Shea DeJoseph’s hitting as the Senators came back to win game four. Carson trailed 22-21 when Ku’ulei Haupu’s block tied the game 22-22 and then DeJoseph drilled a kill to give CHS a 23-22 lead. After Spanish Springs tied the game 23-23, DeJoseph drilled another kill to give CHS a 24-23 lead and Carson went on to win the game.
Carson overcame a 17-12 deficit to win game four. Stefanie Schmidt’s block helped the Senators close to within 17-15. Schmidt then combined with Dajarrah Navarro on a block and Navarro followed with another block to tie the score 17-17. Schmidt’s dink tied it at 18-18 and her kill began a 3-0 run to give CHS a 21-19 lead before the Cougars came back to take a 22-21 advantage.
All Carson coach Robert Maw could hope for was a game five. “I told them win game four and you’re going to win,” said Maw about what he told his team after it lost game three. “They have fight and they have persistence.”
DeJoseph picked up where she left off with two kills and Anderson added a back row kill as Carson jumped out to a 6-2 lead in game five. After Spanish Springs came back to take a 9-8 lead, DeJoseph had a kill, Haupu had two kills and Cheyanne Prado-Holland served an ace as Carson took control with a 13-10 lead.
It looked like Carson was going to win game three when it went up 18-14 as Carissa Willey had a kill after Abby Pradere made two incredible saves and then followed with a block to give the Senators a 15-14 lead. Pradere’s ace gave the Senators an 18-14 lead.
But Spanish Springs came back to go up 23-21 before DeJoseph’s kill helped Carson tie the game 23-23 before the Cougars closed out the game on a 2-0 run.
Carson cruised to an 18-7 lead in game one and held off a Cougars rally after Spanish Springs closed to within 21-17. It was the Cougars’ turn to hold off a Senator rally in game two as they led 22-11. Carson pulled to within 24-20 before Spanish Springs prevailed.
DeJoseph had 12 kills, Haupu had nine kills, Navarro had eight kills, Anderson had 36 assists and 18 digs and Pradere added 18 digs.
So what about the possibility of a fifth game against Reno? “I want to get them to five,” Maw said. “I would really love to get them to five.”
Reno downs Douglas
The Reno Huskies opened defense of their Northern 4A Region Tournament volleyball championship Tuesday night with a 3-1 win at home against the Douglas Tigers.
Reno won by scores of 27-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20 in a rematch of last year’s region tournament finals. The Huskies won that match 3-2.
Douglas (18-13 overall) lost each of its four matches against Reno (29-2) this season.
, three of which took place in tournaments. The Huskies are now riding a 21-match win streak, their only losses coming against St. Francis (Sacramento) and St. Mary’s (Stockton) on Sept. 2 at the High Sierra Invitational.
Talyn Jackson had 10 kills and two blocks for Douglas. Hailey Hughes added six kills and Madison Rozier handed out 10 assists. Erika Leitenbauer led the Tigers defensively with 11 digs and Olivia Johnson had three service aces.
Parker Buddy led the Huskies with 11 kills and Karson Nakagama had 36 assists.
Reno’s most recent region volleyball titles have come in 2009 and 2016.
In other playoff matches, McQueen defeated Damonte Ranch, 3-2, and Bishop Manogue defeated Reed, 3-0.