SPARKS — Montrashay Worley is the second-smallest player on the Douglas High volleyball team.
On Thursday, she made the biggest play of the season, which was actually supposed to be a pass.
The 5-foot-3 Worley lunged and hit a ball that Bishop Manogue was unable to get up, and the Douglas Tigers stunned Bishop Manogue 30-28, 25-22, 18-25, 20-25 and 17-15 Thursday night to advance to Saturday’s Division I championship game against rival Carson.
Both Carson and Douglas will carry the northern Nevada banner into next week’s state tournament at Galena High.
Worley was mobbed by teammates after the ball landed on Manogue’s side of the court, capping the biggest win in northern Nevada volleyball this year. It was only the second time Manogue had been extended to five games against a league opponent, and both times the Miners lost.
“I overpassed the ball,” Worley said. “I just lunged at it. It was the longest play of my life.”
That’s because a couple of Manogue players touched the ball, but couldn’t control it, much to the delight of the Douglas fans in attendance.
Douglas won the opening two games, and the regular-season champion Miners came back to even the match with two straight wins.
An early four-point run gave Manogue a 5-3 lead, as Katelyn Oppio and Julia Wenzel had kills, and Alessandra Reviglio served up an ace.
Douglas scored nine of the next 11 to take a commanding 12-7 lead, as Carmen Shaw had a couple of kills, Ariah Barth had a kill and Emma Sperry served up a key ace. Two more kills by Barth (25 kills, 6 digs) had the Tigers at match point, 14-9.
A tip by Oppio, three Douglas hitting errors and an ace by Becca Smith gave the Miners a 15-14 lead. A block and kill by Isabelle Peterson gave the Tigers a 16-15 advantage. That set the stage for Worley’s game-winner.
Douglas coach Suzy Townsell didn’t seem concerned about going to a fifth game.
“The last couple of weeks we’d done it (gone 5 games) three or four times,” Townsell said.
“I had a good feeling coming into the game as a team. We were going to go down as a team or win as a team.
“We were so ready to play. The kids wanted to play, they didn’t want to practice this week.”
The opening game was a classic. It featured 14 ties.
Hitting errors by Reviglio and Smith enabled Douglas to grab a 28-27 lead. A kill by Wenzel tied the game at 28, but a kill by Barth and Peterson’s block of Reviglio ended the game.
In the second game, a 13-5 run enabled Douglas to grab a 13-10 lead as Kaycee Butcher served up two aces and Worley had one. After an Oppio kill made it 13-11, a Barth kill and two Manogue errors made it 16-11.
Three kills and an ace by Oppio tied the match at 17. A 7-3 run, led by two more Butcher aces made it 24-20. The Miners did close to 24-22 before a Barth kill gave Douglas a 2-0 lead.
Manogue won the next two, going on late runs each time. The Miners, however, were unable to overcome Douglas’ heart and fight.
“We fought the whole time,” Barth said. “Nobody expected us to win. We want back in the last game to doing the things we were doing well in the first two games.”