Douglas spikers defeat Carson in four |

Douglas spikers defeat Carson in four

Dave Price

Even though there wasn’t anything to play for in regard to the Sierra League standings, the rival Douglas and Carson high school volleyball teams played for pride and to tune-up for the postseason on Thursday night.

The visiting Douglas Tigers also earned some bragging rights in the process by winning the regular season-ending match in four games before an estimated crowd of 300 fans at Morse Burley Gymnasium. Douglas won 25-22, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19 in a matchup between teams that now move on to play in the Northern 4A Regional Tournament next Friday and Saturday at Galena High School.

“That was a nice crowd,” Douglas coach Velvet Steel said. “It helps a lot when you have support like that. I just hope everyone comes out again and watches the tournament.”

Carson (8-4 league), the No. 3 seed from the Sierra League, plays its first match at 3 p.m. against High Desert League runner-up Fallon on Friday. League champion Douglas (11-1, 16-5) opens with a 7 p.m. match.

“I’m glad we played it,” Steel said. “I knew Carson was going to be tough. You have the rivalry, and Carson has improved. Everybody gets better the second time around, so you always have to be prepared to play well.”

Carson coach Shana Wilkins looked at the match as a good tune-up before the regional tournament.

“It was a good match, and I knew it would be,” Wilkins said. “We really weren’t on, either. It was kind of like a roller coaster because we were never able to sustain anything.”

Inconsistent passing didn’t help the Senators, according to Wilkins.

“Usually, we pass at an 80 percent rate. Tonight, we were only 60 percent,” she said, “That hurt because we weren’t able to run our offense the way we like to.”

Statistically, Douglas offered a balanced attack in which four different players put down five kills or more. Monica Knight had 11, Kayla Dunn and Whitney Estes six each and Dawson Joyce-Mendive five to lead the Tigers, while Katie Marsh handed out 27 assists and Alex Risko eight.

Estes had six blocks and Knight five for the Tigers. Also, Erin Fitzgerald and Risko collected three service aces each.

Nicole Scott had six kills and six blocks while Catherine Brekken had seven kills and two blocks to lead Carson at the net. Alex McAlman contributed five kills and two blocks and Michelle Raponi came up with six digs. Lindsay Ford had 26 assists.