Minden is becoming a haven of sorts for the Carson High volleyball team.
After more than 10 years without a win over the Douglas volleyball team, the Senators have now made it two wins in as many trips to their arch rival's home gym in the past two seasons.
Carson prevailed in a back-and-forth match that saw the lead change hands 18 times in five games Tuesday night. The final scores read 24-26, 26-22, 20-25, 25-17, 15-8 in favor of the Senators. Last year, Carson swept three games from the Tigers in the teams' first league meeting of the season.
"It was big time, coming down to Douglas and playing in this gym in this environment, it's a tough order to fill," Carson coach Robert Maw said. "The girls stepped up. We talk about limiting our unforced errors, which has been a problem this year, and we were hoping to keep them under 10 percent tonight. We came in at 8.89 percent, which is phenomenal. That was key tonight."
Momentum was a friend to neither team Tuesday night, with Carson nearly surrendering the second game after leading 20-13. Douglas worked back into the game, cutting the score to 22-21 before the Senators pulled together and won three of the next four points to prevent the Tigers from going up 2-0.
"It was about communication," Maw said. "We struggled in the back row just talking with each other, and that was happening in the first game as well. What it came down to was just the girls starting to open their mouths and talk. We want them playing as one, and early on we were seeing six individuals out there. Clamping down in that second game, that's when they started playing as one."
Douglas pulled out to early leads in both the fourth and the fifth games, but Carson rallied in both instances and won both games convincingly. The Senators won six of the last nine points in the fourth and had a 7-0 run in the fifth to essentially seal the match.
"I was just very pleased," Maw said. "The girls stuck together and put up a team win. That's what it takes to beat a good team like Douglas."
Carson had standout efforts from its attack, particularly in the middle of the court, as Kamryn Forrest came up with 11 kills, McKenzie Price had 10 and Juliana Anderson had nine.
Setter Courtney Hack put up five kills of her own to go with 30 assists. Price added another 14 assists. The Senators also did well serving the ball throughout, with Anderson recording three aces, Daniella Good and Price each serving up two and Kaitlyn Jimmy adding one.
Douglas got 12 kills from Katie McCullough, nine from Kristina Barnum, seven from Jenna Broussard and five from Sage Pintler.
McCullough also had four kills, Ariah Barth had 13 digs, Shelby Van Winkle had 22 assists and Pintler had three aces.
Douglas defeated Carson's junior varsity team 25-14, 25-18 on Tuesday in Minden.
Tia Lutz had five kills, Savannah Allmett and Amanda Weaver each had three, Makayla Shaver and Sydne Huck had two and Nikki Hamada, Samantha Brown and Emily Schmidt each had one.
Allmett, Brown and Schmidt each had one block. Lutz had two aces and Shay Worley and Brown each had one.
Weaver had six assists and Hamada had five. Savannah Lowther had five digs, Worley had four digs, Maddy Lowe had three, Lutz had two and Brown, Huck, Delaney Jacobson and Weaver each had one.
Douglas is 13-3 overall on the season.