RENO — Once again, the Douglas High School volleyball team rose to the occasion while playing on the brink of elimination.
On Friday night, however, the Tigers were unable to complete their comeback in a 3-1 loss against Ashley Smith and the Shadow Ridge Mustangs during the first round of the Division I State Tournament at Galena High School.
Smith, a 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter who has verbally committed to play at the University of Kansas, delivered a double-double with 22 kills and 23 digs to lead Shadow Ridge (26-9) in its first-ever state volleyball match.
Shadow Ridge staved off a comeback by Douglas in the fourth set to win by game scores of 25-23, 17-25, 25-17, 25-18
Douglas (20-13) was coming off a performance at the Northern Region Tournament one week before in which it rallied to win three straight five-set matches.
“They did a good job of fighting back tonight,” Douglas coach Suzi Townsell said. “They felt good about getting this far. We have a (region) championship, so there’s no reason for them to hang their heads.”
After dropping the first set, Douglas surged to leads of 9-3, 14-5 and 18-8. The Mustangs rallied back to within 21-17, however, the Tigers regained their momentum when Taryn Allmett put down a kill and Carmen Shaw followed with a block.
Shadow Ridge looked to Ashley Smith early and often in the third set and she had six kills to help stake the Mustangs to an 18-10 lead.
Douglas answered with a run of its own, as Talyn Jackson fed Isabelle Peterson for a quick middle kill, Raychel Allen delivered an ace and Carmen Shaw added a block to cut the deficit to 22-16.
The Mustangs answered, though, and Smith closed it out with a shot from the right side for her seventh kill of the set.
“How can you not look to her,” Shadow Ridge coach Karissa Guthrie said of Smith. “She’s our go-to player. But even when she’s not on, we have other players who come through for us. It’s all a part of staying together as a team.”
The Tigers were prepared to face the Mustangs’ big hitter, according to Townsell.
“We had a game plan for her,” she said. “It’s just that sometimes things don’t go your way.”
Shadow Ridge jumped out to an early 13-6 lead in the fourth set, only to see the Tigers battle back.
Jackson set Peterson on a quick middle play and Allmett followed with a kill from the left side as the Tigers rallied back to within 17-14. Allmett’s shot down the line kept the Tigers within 18-15 and Shaw added another kill to make it 20-17.
Shadow Ridge regained the momentum with an 8-1 run, capped by Smith’s shot from the left side to close out the set and match.
“Douglas is a good team,” Guthrie said. “We were just able to take advantage of some scoring runs and we managed the adversity.”
Yerington 3, The Meadows 0
The Yerington volleyball team advanced to today’s state finals with a three-game sweep over The Meadows Friday at Wooster High School.
Game scores were 25-18, 26-24 and 25-19.
Yerington, 35-2 on the season, faces White Pine. White Pine defeated Incline Village in five games (16-25, 26-24, 25-23, 14-25, 15-13) in the other state semifinal.
Virginia City swept
In Division IV action
Pahranagat Valley defeated Virginia City in three games (26-24, 25-18, 26-24) to advance to today’s state final against Smith Valley. Smith Valley defeated Beatty in three games at Wooster High School.
Arbor View 5, Douglas 1
Haley Vicente scored three goals, including two in the first 17 minutes, as the Aggies moved into the final by handing the Tigers their first loss of the season.
Vicente’s free kick just five minutes into the match put the Aggies on top for good. She added a goal 12 minutes later off a cross from Sierra Vicente.
Allyssa Larkin’s goal from just outside the 18-yard box gave Arbor View a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Vanessa Lourenco added to the lead early in the second half before McKenna Kynett got Douglas (24-1) on the board.
Vicente converted another free kick to complete the scoring.