Douglas volleyball rolls past Damonte | NevadaAppeal.com
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Douglas volleyball rolls past Damonte

Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service

MINDEN ” Apparently, this is the real Douglas volleyball team.

One might of thought heading into Thursday night that the top two ranked teams in the region would go the full five games in a back-and-forth battle until one was left standing.

After sweeping the No. 2 Damonte Ranch Mustangs 25-21, 25-20, 25-21, Douglas coach Suzi Townsell finally uttered a term in a positive way that she’d said previously her team had yet to attain.

“That was Douglas volleyball,” Townsell said with a laugh. “Overall, we played a pretty strong match.

“Definitely we’re almost there. (Setter) Megan (Mitchell) managed the team very well. She went to Jessica (Waggoner) often, our terminator in the middle and she was getting the ball outside. It was all effective.

“Damonte is a very strong team, just awesome. It’s a privilege to play them.”

Waggoner finished with 12 kills, seven of which came in the first game, and Mitchell had 30 assists and five kills.

“The passes were there, the opportunities were there,” Waggoner said. “Once I was able to get that first kill down, Megan saw that there was no block there. When they were on me, she went outside. It opens things up a lot.

“When I’m on, it opens up the outside and when they’re on, it opens up the middle. When we’re both on, it goes pretty well.”

Douglas moved within two wins of clinching the Sierra League title by beating Damonte and improved to 10-0 in league play.

While the match was a sweep, it played a lot closer than the scores would suggest.

Damonte got the upper hand at the start of each of the three games, jumping out to a 4-2 lead in game one, a 3-0 lead in game two and a 6-3 lead in game three.

“We have to learn to come out strong, every first point was one we didn’t get,” Townsell said. “That’s something we have to focus on.”

Douglas bounced back quickly in each of the three games, and the two teams chipped back and forth through the first half of each.

It was Douglas’ ability to pull away through the back-breaking middle of each game, however that proved to be the difference.

Leading 12-11 in the first, the Tigers went on a 6-1 run highlighted by a pair of Waggoner kills and a pair of Jourdan Burke aces to put distance between themselves and the Mustangs.

In the second, it was Damonte Ranch who built the 12-11 lead, but Douglas scratched back with a 5-0 run to pull away. The entire stretch was keyed by the serving of Mysta Townsell, who registered a pair of aces to go with kills from Mitchell, Waggoner and Burke.

And in the third, Damonte built up an 11-7 lead before Douglas went on an 8-0 run to assume the lead and control of the momentum. Again it was a pair of Townsell aces that highlighted the run, but Waggoner came up with a key stuff block and Mitchell and Burke each had kills to push the run forward.

In total, Douglas outscored Damonte Ranch 19-1 through the middle portions of the games. Not entirely unrelated, the final point differential of 14 was too far departed from those middle portions.

“I think we were able to break them down a bit tonight,” Waggoner said. “We were just able to outplay them at certain points.”

Burke finished with a team-leading 13 kills and Taryn Williams added eight kills. Townsell had four aces and Burke finished with two.

Rae Steel led Damonte Ranch with 10 kills.