Tigers sweep Carson spikers
Carson High volleyball coach Justin Malley stood near center court, a wry smile on his face. It was almost as if he expected his team to lose.
Thanks to great defense plus the hitting and serving of Shannon Dugan, Douglas High rolled to a 25-9, 25-18 and 25-20 win over the Senators Thursday night at Morse Burley Gym.
The Tigers improved to 14-1 overall and 4-0 in league, while Carson dropped to 2-2 in league.
“They are the best 4A team in the north,” Malley said. “I know Yerington beat them (last week), but Douglas is still the best team. They’re bigger and faster than we are. Their corp group of girls have been playing together for the last three years.
“I was disappointed that we got swept. I thought we’d take a game. You take one game and you never know what’s going to happen out there.”
What happened out there wasn’t good. Douglas dominated the first game. Carson was in the final two games, but never came up with critical points when it needed to.
Credit the Douglas defense for that. The Tigers got their hands on a lot of balls and kept a lot of balls in play.
“After last week (the loss to Yerington) we came back to practice on Friday and Monday with good focus,” said Douglas coach Suzi Townsell, who admitted the loss provided a wake-up call for her team. “We worked a lot on defense; keeping the ball in play. It all starts with a good pass.
“They don’t like losing. They don’t like that feeling. Yerington is a good team, but we had 30 errors. That’s basically giving them a game and a half. Yerington creamed us that night. They were the better team that night.”
The opening game set the tone on Thursday.
Dugan served up 13 straight points as the Tigers bolted to a 13-1 lead. Dugan, who finished with 13 kills, 11 digs and six aces for the match, served up two aces in that span. Emily Garcia had three kills and Keely Latham two in that span.
“Dugan and her serving,” Townsell said, describing the first-game barrage. “She was floating and also serving it deep. She kept them off balance.”
Carson rebounded to score a few scattered points, but the major damage had been done. Douglas scored seven of the last nine points to put the game away thanks to aces by Dugan and setter Jackie Harper (26 assists, 9 digs) plus two ballhandling mistakes on the serve of Mia Townsell (12 digs).
“We got into freeze mode (that first game),” Malley said. “We played with them the second game.”
In game 2, the teams battled on near-even terms. Neither team had a lead of more than two points and there were eight ties, the last being 17-17.
That’s when Douglas took control and the Senators’ game went south. The Tigers scored eight of the last nine to go up 2-0.
The surge started with Carson getting called for a double hit on a set. Dugan added a couple of kills, Garcia had one and Harper served up an ace to compete the run.
Receiving serve was an issue for the Senators, who just weren’t able to get the ball set to their hitters on a regular basis.
“They served tough, and we did not pass at all,” Malley said.
Douglas had a commanding 20-13 lead in Game 3, but thanks to a couple of net/line violations, a couple of hitting errors by Dugan and kills by Carson’s Jeanette Van Sickle and Micaela Vowinkel, Carson climbed back into the game at 21-19.
Douglas scored the next two points to make it 23-19, but Carson trimmed it to 23-20 before two kills by Dugan ended the match.
Unofficially, Van Sickle led Carson with six kills and Elysse Virden had four.
• Carson won the JV match 12-25, 25-23 and 15-9. Douglas won the freshman match 25-27, 25-23 and 15-6.