Damonte sweeps CHS | NevadaAppeal.com

Damonte sweeps CHS

Darrell Moody
Natalie Anderson sets the ball in a match against Damonte Ranch on Tuesday night.
Jim Grant / jgrant@nevadaappeal.com | Nevada Appeal

The Carson Senators are an unhappy volleyball team these days, and losses to McQueen and Damonte Ranch are a big reason why.

The Senators played their worst match of the season in a 18-25, 21-25 and 11-25 loss to Damonte Ranch Tuesday night at Morse Burley Gym in the Sierra League opener for both teams.

Carson dropped to 6-2, and will have little time to lick their collective wounds. The Senators, who are leaving for a tournament in Phoenix on Thursday, visit Wooster today at 6 p.m. Damonte, meanwhile, improved to 7-1.

The Senators are a dysfunctional bunch these days, and they are easily frustrated as a team and with each other.

“I’m disappointed we lost in three,” CHS coach Robert Maw said. “We didn’t play tough. We don’t have a chance to get on the court and work on things because we’re leaving for the tournament on Thursday and have to play Wooster Wednesday (tonight). We struggled setting the ball tonight.”

Natalie Anderson set the first two games, and then was benched in favor of freshman Abby Pradere. It didn’t really make a huge difference. Carson simply had no answer for Damonte’s defense and a strong, smart group of hitters led by Meagan Carlson (8 kills) and Morgan Waller (7 kills, 3 stuff blocks). McKenna Dorman finished with six kills, while Jasmin Hubbard and Jordan Jacobson had five each.

The ease at which Damonte handled Carson even surprised Damonte coach Dani Wallace, who said there are advantages and disadvantages when teams know each other so well. Most of the players from both teams compete in club volleybal together at Silver State.

“I am surprised, but I’m glad,” Wallace said. “Absolutely there are advantages. You get to know tendencies by players, but that can work the other way, too, because their girls know our girls.”

Manogue started the year as the overwhelming favorite to make it to state, and everybody else was trying to get recognized as a serious contender. Damonte may have jumped ahead of everybody else on that list Tuesday. “That’s what we’ve bee shooting for,” Wallace said. “We’ve been working hard the last four or five years. Anybody on our side can win at any point and time. The teams on our side are good.”

The opening set featured nine ties, and for a while the teams weren’t separated by more than three points.

Trailing 14-13, the Mustangs scored five straight points to take an 18-14 lead. Jasmin Hubbard started the surge with a kill and Carlson knocked one down off the net. Waller also had a kill and Carson contributed a hitting error and a bad set in that sequence. Carso closed to 19-16 on an error by Hubbard and a Keelin Pilgrim kill off the net. Damonte scored six of the next eight points to end the opening game. McKenna Dorman had two kills, one of which came when a Carson pass went over the net, and McKinley Thiede served up an ace.

The second set was full of momentum swings.

Damonte, on the strength of two kills by Jacobson, had a 7-1 surge en route to taking a 13-6 lead. Carson had a 6-0 run of its own, led by Maddie Jergesen’s two kills and a stuff block which cut its deficit to 14-13. Damonte took control with an 8-1 run for a 23-15 lead. Hubbard and Lenae Burkhart served up aces, and Waller and Hubbard had kills. Three stuff blocks by Kylie Riske keyed a 6-1 Carson run to make it 24-21, but a net violation on the Senators ended the second game.

That may have taken the fight out of the Senators.

Damonte scored eight of the first 11 and 12 of the first 18 points in the final set. Leading 16-9, the Mustangs went on an 8-1 surge to make it an embarrassing 24-10. Carson had a service error, a net violation, was called for a lift once and had three hitting errors. It was an ugly stretch.

Carson had 25 kills and 17 errors — a percentage like that won’t win many matches, especially against a talented team like Damonte Ranch. Jaycie Roberts is still bothered by a sore groin and is lacking the explosiveness getting off the floor.