It was bad enough that Carson High had to play perennial 2A powerhouse Whittell without senior Nicole Scott.
Add a first-game ankle injury to outside hitter Sandra McAlman, and the Senators were in for a very long night.
Led by Jessica Woods' 13 kills and seven digs, and Kelly Karmann's seven kills and seven digs, Whittell improved to 2-0 with an easy 25-11, 25-19 and 25-15 victory in a nonconference match Thursday at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Carson coach Shauna Wilkins expects Scott to return to action sometime next week, but won't know the extent of McAlman's injury until sometime today.
"Losing another star player didn't help," Wilkins said. "Injuries bring morale down. Sandra is one of our better hitters. I honestly don't know if it would have made a difference.
"Our new kids did well (Sandie Howard). It's only the second year she's ever played. They hung in there." Howard finished with two kills and five blocks.
Carson did hang tough, but was no match for Woods and Karmann, who scored pretty much at will.
"She (Woods) played on my 17s, and she was doing what she did tonight against the best teams around," Whittell coach Dan McLaughlin said. "Nobody has stopped her yet. She's that good of a player. Kelly dominated a lot in the middle.
"We're not tall, but we are exceptionally quick. That allows us to get a lot more balls up. We try to be patient and force the other team to make mistakes."
Four kills by Woods and an ace and kill by Karmann sparked Whittell to a 13-6 lead in the opening game. Catherine Brekken scored twice on quick sets to the middle to make it 14-8, but a net violation on Carson and a Karmann kill gave the Warriors a 16-8 bulge. The Warriors closed out the set with a 9-3 run.
Despite not having McAlman in the second game, Carson bolted out to leads of 5-1 and 7-4, as Howard had nice back-to-back blocks for points. Howard added another kill to make it 10-7. Carson maintained a three-point lead until kills by Woods and Karmann plus an ace by Meri Johnson enabled Whittell to take a 14-13 lead.
Howard tipped one over the Whittell front line and Brekken blocked Karmann to give the Senators their last lead of the set, 15-14. The set was tied at 17 and 18-all, before the Warriors scored seven of the last eight points to take the second game. Katrina Kacirek, Jordan Reeder and Karmann all had kills in Whittell's late surge.
Carson scored the first point of the third set, and after that it was all Whittell.
Karmann racked up two kills and an ace, and Woods added a kill and an ace to give the Warriors 13-5 lead. Carson did close to five points twice (14-9 and 15-10), but a kill and stuff block by Karmann and two Carson ball-handling mistakes enabled Whittell to build a 19-10 lead.
Carson showed its inexperience several times during the match, allowing balls to drop because of lack of communication. You can get away with that against mediocre teams, but not against a talented team like Whittell.
"They're young," Wilkins said. "They have to learn how to play together; to trust each other."
CARSON JV'S WIN
In the JV match, Carson got three kills and seven digs by Hannah Hein and six kills apiece from Blaike King and Kaily Taylor en route to a 25-18 and 25-22 win over Whittell.
Carson is 2-0 on the season.
Darrell Moody can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281