A little time was needed to get warmed up, but once on track, the Carson High School volleyball team swept to an important Northern 4A victory at home against Elko on Friday afternoon.
The Senators prevailed in three straight sets at Morse Burley Gymnasium - 15-11, 15-4, 15-10 - in a match that helped clear up playoff races in both Division I and II.
By winning, Carson finished its regular season with a 14-4 conference record, good for a second-place tie with Douglas in Division II. Elko fell to 10-6 with a loss that ended its chances of catching Galena in the race for first place in Division I. Galena (12-4) hosts Elko in the final regular season match for those two teams at 11 a.m. today.
Carson needed to win Friday to avoid possibly falling into a tie with Reno in the Division II standings - and a possible No. 4 seed coming into the Northern 4A zone tournament this coming week at Galena High School.
"We didn't play our best. We didn't come out strong like we wanted, but the important thing was we won," junior outside hitter Kaitlin Leck said.
Alyson Thurman helped Carson's cause 22 kills, five blocks and eight digs while Leck contributed nine digs and 11 digs.
"It's the same old story, No. 7 (Thurman) and No. 6 (Leck), they're our leaders," Carson coach Daryl James said.
The score was tied at 11 in game one when Carson took the lead on Thurman's stuff block. Moments later, a Thurman kill made it 13-11 and the Senators closed out the game on two Erin Menath kills.
Menath finished with eight kills and setter Davina Carter with 41 assists for Carson. Jennifer Saunders had 10 aces, many during a run that gave the Senators a 9-0 lead in game three.
Amanda Basanez had eight kills and Krystal Thacker 11 digs for Elko.
Interestingly enough, Carson and Elko appear to be headed for a rematch in the first round of the zone tournament Thursday afternoon at Galena. The tournament will feature a new format - single elimination with best-of-three matches - so the first-round winners will clinch state tournament berths.
"We need to win our next match to get to state," Leck said. "That's been our goal all year."