Douglas High's Chana Rothschild (9) and Marin Collins (5) go up for a block on Carson outside hitter Cami Larkin.
Consider the strongest rivalry in the state renewed.
Tuesday night, Douglas High volleyball traveled to Carson for the first installment of ‘The Rivalry’ since March 2020, when the two school’s baseball teams met before the season was suspended due to the pandemic.
With spectator limits capped, Morse Burley Gymnasium still maintained a live environment for the 40 or so spectators allowed to attend.
The energy only grew until the Tigers were able to put away the Senators in a dramatic, fifth-set finish by a final score of 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-11.
“The fact that we got to play is a big deal, but the fact that we got to beat Carson on my last year is an even bigger deal and it means a lot to me,” said Douglas’ senior libero Kate Talia.
“We’ve been playing with these girls since seventh grade. It’s a competition every time,” said fellow Tiger senior Fiona Mora. “We want this every single year. Our last game with them was a home run.”
Carson and Douglas sat deadlocked after two sets, splitting respective 25-23 results.
In the third, the Senators appeared as though they were starting to take over, jumping out to a 14-7 lead.
Cami Larkin had two kills and two aces in the first 20 points while Emily Bell added three kills of her own with an ace.
A missed serve and a couple of attacking errors from the Senators allowed Douglas to hang around and make it 17-15.
The Senators held their slim margin to 21-18 until allowing the last seven points to go in favor of the Tigers to close the set.
“It was like a roller coaster,” said Mora. “We just wanted it and we don’t have a very long season, so we’re dedicated to what we have.”
The senior setter put together 23 assists in the win for the Tigers along with 10 digs and two serving aces.
Carson flipped the confidence to their side in the fourth set, winning the final 13 points.
The Tigers took a 17-12 lead in the fourth before Bell and Larkin took over.
Larkin posted three kills and a block over the final five points of the set while Bell posted two aces while serving out the run.
“They finished it off with authority,” said Carson High head coach Robert Maw. “That’s the Carson High I envision us to be. We just have to get there.”
Larkin and Bell ended the night with 15 and 13 kills, respectively, while Bell added eight aces.
In the fifth, the Senators turned to their freshmen to help out as Dayna Myrehn picked up a nice dig after serving up 6-4.
“Quick learners, good athletes, they just need to see time,” said Maw of his freshmen.
It was a short-lived lead for Carson in the fifth set as Riley Mello pounded two of her five kills into the hardwood to put Douglas back in front.
Adaline Doeer put the Tigers ahead 11-8 in the fifth after a soft tip fell to the floor and Sofia Kolbe picked up her 10th kill while also setting up Douglas with match point.
“We can be down 10-1 and we will come back,” said Talia. “We held to our reputation and we really fought.”
UP NEXT: Douglas (1-1) will get its first home contest Thursday against Galena (2-0). Carson (0-2) will get a shot at picking up its first win at home this season against Bishop Manogue (0-1).