Douglas caps big day by edging Carson for regional crown
RENO — If you follow the Douglas High sports scene, Saturday was a huge day, arguably the biggest in school history.
It started with the Tigers’ soccer team winning the regional title, then Lindsey Adams finishing first at state cross country, and was capped by Douglas’ 25-13, 15-25, 18-25, 25-21 and 15-13 win over rival Carson for the regional volleyball championship at North Valleys High School.
The championship was the second in four years for the Tigers, who beat Bishop Manogue and then Carson in their last two matches. The Tigers will play Shadow Ridge next Friday, while Carson, which also advances, will play Coronado in the state tournament.
“These kids are going to give me a heart attack,” said DHS coach Suzi Townsell, as she accepted congratulations from Douglas fans. “They are taking years off my life.
“I thought Isabelle Peterson (right-side hitter) played one of her best matches. That’s what you need, somebody to step up when you aren’t having a lot of success on the outside.”
Peterson had 12 kills and four blocks, and Ariah Barth, who carried Douglas against Manogue, had just nine kills. She played well, but wasn’t as dominant as she was on Thursday.
Nothing has come easy for the Tigers, who won all three playoff matches in five sets.
Especially in the fifth game on Saturday. The Tigers had staved off elimination in Game 4 with a 25-21 lead.
The Tigers, on the strength of two kills by Taryn Allmet and Aubrey Caires rolled to a 10-4 lead. It probably should have been over, but the Senators, after impressive wins in the second and third games, weren’t about to go down quietly.
Carson ran off seven straight points, six with Natalie Anderson at the service line, to grab an 11-10 lead. Anderson had an ace in the run and Maddie Jergesen (8 kills, 8 blocks) had a stuff block, but Douglas had three hitting errors and an illegal set in that span.
The streak ended when Anderson served long, tying the game at 11. A service error by Montrashay Worley and a hitting error by Barth gave Carson a 13-11 lead and two points away from its first region title since 1987.
After a Douglas timeout, Carmen Shaw blocked Jergesen and then Carson made a bad pass off the serve, tying the game at 13. After an error by Carson, Shannon Leiss served up a match-ending ace.
Caires and Shaw each had two kills in the final game.
“We had our chances,” said Carson coach Robert Maw. “The fourth game was the most disappointing. We had a lot of errors.
“We showed a lot of heart and tenacity coming back from 10-4 when they could have finished it.”
Townsell didn’t think the Tigers had it won at 10-4, either.
“We needed to keep the momentum,” she said.
Carson didn’t get a single kill from Jergesen in the final game. After hitting at 44 percent on Thursday, Jergesen was held in check.
“She was off today,” Maw said. “They were putting up a good block.”
“We needed to front her with Carmen (Shaw),” Townsell said. “We had to stay on her and make it tough.”
The match started with Douglas scoring seven of the first nine points and 15 of the first 21. Carson was never in it. Shaw had four kills and Barth added two.
“The kids were so pumped up and ready to go,” Townsell said.
“Douglas played well the first game,” Maw said. “I’m sure the kids were nervous.”
Carson came back with a vengeance in the middle two games, winning both easily. Maw credited better passing which enabled the Senators to run their up-temp offense more often.
In the second game, a 5-0 run enabled Carson to build a 16-9 lead, as Juliana Anderson (13 kills, 9 digs) had two big kills and Kylie Riske (7 kills, 9 blocks) had a stuff block.
Carson’s lead stayed between five and seven until it scored six of the last eight points of the game. The late surge was highlighted by an acrobatic left-handed dink by Jaycie Roberts (21 kills, 20 digs) plus two straight kills by Riske. Roberts ended up with six kills in the game.
The third game was a back and forth affair, but two kills by Juliana Anderson and a block by Roberts enabled Carson to open up a 15-11 lead.
Three kills by Barth made it 16-14, but Carson scored six of the next seven points to open up a 22-15 lead. Roberts had two kills in the surge and Sarah Christl served up an ace. A lift by Carson and kill by Allmet made it 22-17. Carson scored three of the next four to close out the game, as Juliana Anderson had a kill and Douglas had two errors in that span.
For whatever reason, Carson’s momentum didn’t carry over to the fourth game.
Douglas bolted to a 6-1 lead, as Peterson had two blocks, Barth had one and Talyn Jackson (32 assists) delivered an ace.
Carson fought back to take an 11-10 lead, as Juliana Anderson had two kills and Roberts added one. The Tigers made six errors, making Carson’s job much easier.
Two more kills by Peterson gave the Tigers a 15-13 lead.
A 6-3 run enabled Carson to get a 19-18 lead. Natalie Anderson had two aces and Jergesen suddenly awoke with two nice kills.
Douglas went on a 7-2 roll to end the game. Jackson had two kills and two service aces to even the match.