Douglas, Spanish Springs volleyball duke it out again
Tigers once again win in five sets, advance to regional semis
Addy Doerr (4) jumps into the arms of Riley Mello (16) alongside Sumer Williams (2) and the rest of the Tigers after Douglas took down Spanish Springs in five sets Monday night in the Class 5A regional quarterfinal.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
It seemed only fitting that the third meeting between Douglas High volleyball and Spanish Springs went a full five sets in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals Monday night. Both meetings in the regular season needed five sets to determine a winner with Douglas escaping on top of both. Monday night was no different as the Tigers advanced to the regional semifinals with a 23-25, 25-23, 12-25, 25-19, 15-13 win over the Cougars, taking that decisive final set once again.
“Oh my gosh. It’s crazy because that has happened every time we’ve played them. … It’s just stressful. I don’t know why we can’t pull it out easier than that,” joked senior Emma Glover, “but it makes it fun.” Tiger fans certainly saw the brunt of that stress after Douglas fell behind 2-1 and dropped the third set in less than stellar fashion, 25-12. The team meeting that followed between sets was a direct message from assistant coach Brenna White about what the Tigers needed to do to take the final two sets. “We were all kind of flustered, but then Brenna got in there and told us what we needed to fix,” said Glover. Taking the fourth and fifth After back-to-back Cougar kills, Douglas held just a one-point lead, 20-19, late in the fourth set. The Tigers didn’t let the points faze them, winning each of the next five to take the set behind two kills from senior Riley Mello. Mello had a team-high 19 kills in the regional quarterfinal win. Despite it getting tight at the end, Douglas never trailed in the fifth set. Marin Collins had two of her four kills to open the set and give Douglas a 3-1 lead. Suzy Berger and Addy Doerr each added another as the Tigers extended their lead to 10-5. Doerr, who had seven kills, scored an ace on the following point. Mello added her two final kills to give Douglas a 14-9 lead and a match point. However, the Cougars rallied with the next four points and forced two Douglas timeouts in the waning moments. The final timeout did the trick as a long rally ended with a Berger attack that deflected off a Spanish Springs’ player out of play, capping the five-set battle. “It’s Spanish Springs, I guess,” said coach Suzi Townsell. “They fight and it’s been that way every time.” Locking down defensively and was the difference in the eyes of Townsell as Douglas pulls within a win of a state tournament berth. “We haven’t missed that many serves in I don’t know how long, so to me that’s a mental thing that might have been lapsing a little bit,” said Townsell. The offensive side of things for Douglas also took a little time to mesh as the Tigers went to a new rotation, but that didn’t bother Glover at the setter position. “We hadn’t been using that rotation all year. Once we settled in, we were fine,” said Glover, who had 16 assists. Mia Bertolone added 20 assists of her own and posted 10 digs for the Tigers, which matched the team-high with Mello and Sumer Williams.
(Douglas High senior Emma Glover bumps a ball in he regional quarterfinal matchup with Spanish Springs Monday. / Ron Harpin)
UP NEXT: Douglas is one win away from qualifying for the state tournament, but top-seeded Reno (18-3) stands in the Tigers’ way. “It’s so awesome because with COVID we didn’t even have a chance,” added Glover. “It’s super exciting to be able to try our best and go for it.” The Huskies bested the Tigers, 3-0, in both previous meeting this season and have dropped just nine sets total on the year. That regional semifinal matchup is slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Reno High School.