LAS VEGAS - Carson High School had to do some digging Thursday afternoon at the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Volleyball Tournament. Unfortunately for the Senators, they were unable to dig themselves out of an early hole and wound up on the short end of an opening-round verdict against Bishop Gorman.
Carson fell into a two-game deficit right off the bat, then rallied back to push the match to the limit before Gorman closed the door on a 3-2 victory at Chaparral High School. The Gaels won the match 15-2, 15-6, 13-15, 10-15, 15-5.
"They were better than us today," Carson coach Daryl James said. "They're good, but we were right there with them. They just competed better than we did today."
The Southern 4A Sunset Region champion Gorman Gaels controlled the first two games before Carson rallied back.
The Senators were again led by the one-two punch of senior middle blocker Alyson Thurman and junior outside hitter Kaitlin Leck. Thurman finished with 22 kills and eight blocks, while Leck had 20 kills and 14 digs. Davina Carter handed out 44 assists, Erin Menath contributed 10 kills and Jennifer Saunders eight kills.
In other first-round matches on Thursday, Douglas rallied to defeat Durango in four sets, 9-15, 15-10, 15-1, 15-7. Northern 4A champ Fallon dispatched Silverado 15-6, 8-15, 15-5, 16-14.
Douglas plays Green Valley in the semifinals today at 4:30 p.m. at Chaparral. Douglas defeated Green Valley for last year's state tournament title.
Fallon takes on Gorman at 1 p.m. in the other semifinal.
For Carson, this wraps up a season in which the team posted a 16-6 record. The state tournament appearance was Carson's first since 1994.
"I was real pleased with the season we had," James said. "These kids went to work, played a lot of volleyball and they played a lot of good matches. Suzanne (Streeter, assistant coach) and I are proud of them."