South Tahoe volleyball beats Carson
Here’s a bit of irony. When the South Tahoe volleyball team didn’t have any offense, they went undefeated in the first half of the Sierra Division. When the Vikings finally developed some offense, they lost their first two games in the second half of the division schedule.
“The funny thing is we’ve been improving offensively,” said coach Gary Hankoff. “Earlier in the season, we would just play good defense and force the other team into making mistakes. We had no offense. But when you start playing more offensively, you’re going to have more mistakes. Plus, after going undefeated in the first half of the league season, the girls had expectations on them. Everybody knows it’s always easier to be the underdog.”
South Tahoe, which lost to Wooster and Douglas last week, might be back in that underdog role, but the Vikings sure didn’t play like it Tuesday night. Jessica Bettencourt and Christina Baghdikian each had six kills, and Stephanie Morrow recorded 17 assists as South Tahoe broke a two-game losing streak with a 25-22, 25-17, 25-20 victory over Carson at South Tahoe High School.
“We didn’t want to have that streak of three in a row,” Bettencourt said. “We wanted to put a stop to it, so it was a real important game. I would say in the Wooster game we might have been too confident. It was kind of disappointing the last two games because we were undefeated. But that wasn’t the problem against Douglas. We had had too many unforced errors.”
The Vikings (8-2) remain in second place in the division standings behind Douglas, the team that beat them in three games last week in Minden. Hankoff estimated that the Tigers only had five kills in the match and the rest of their points came off of unforced errors. Against Wooster, it was a completely different story.
“It was a lack of effort, a complete lack of effort on our part against Wooster,” Hankoff said. “These girls aren’t used to having expectations. It’s not a matter of being focused. We were almost over focused. They were more interested in looking at the scoreboard than playing volleyball. And we have a tendency to let other teams score in bunches. It happened against Wooster and it also happened against Carson.”
In the second game against the Senators (6-3), with the Vikings leading 20-17, Michelle Aguilar recorded six straight service points to put the game away. In the third game, Elan Whitney had nine service points, seven of which came during a key stretch when South Tahoe turned a 4-3 lead into an 11-3 advantage. Whitney also recorded 13 digs, and Jennifer Filipko added two kills.
“Our defense is still there,” Hankoff said. “Elan has really been coming along. All of the girls have. As long as we can stay mentally focused, we’re going to be all right. I don’t know if we can finish in first place now. Douglas still has to play some games where you never know what could happen, but I like where we are at.”
For Carson, Allison Foltz had four digs, Alex McAlman had five kills and two blocks and Nicole Scott added five kills and seven blocks.
CARSON JVS 2, SOUTH TAHOE 1
The Carson junior varsity volleyball team improved to 7-2 in the Sierra League with a 25-23, 19-25, 16-14 win. Whitney Hoote, Courtney Katefias and Brooke Conway led the attack, Hoote and Amanda Dines set up the attack, Julia Lopez, Rebecca Pankey and Candice Rutledge led the serving effort and Jennifer Atchian and Kelly Brothers led the defensive effort.