If Maddie Jergesen were still at Fernley High, she’d more than likely be plugging away at homework these weekday evenings.
Instead, she’s getting the taste of playoff volleyball, and the first-year Carson junior middle blocker is loving every second of it.
Jergesen finished with 10 kills and a block to lead the Senators to a 25-10, 25-17 and 25-23 win over Reno Tuesday night in the opening round of the NIAA Division I playoffs at Morse Burley Gym.
The win sends Carson into Thursday’s semifinals against Reed, a five-set winner over Damonte, at 7 p.m. at North Valleys. The winner of that match gets a berth in the finals and more importantly, a spot in the upcoming state playoffs.
Jergesen has been the key addition, the missing link so to speak, or the final piece to the puzzle. She already knew most of the Carson players from her time with the Silver State Volleyball Club.
“I can’t describe how it feels to be able to keep on playing and being in the playoffs,” Jergesen said after the sweep. “People want to play sports here. In Fernley, it’s all about football. Coming from a football place to a school where all the sports are equal.
“My parents and I had been talking about it (moving) for a while. I was spending five nights a week here, and I have a great aunt here in Carson who has been in ill health. To play volleyball here was so worth the move.”
Bob Maw, Carson head coach, said he wondered all summer about who would be in the middle this year.
“I spent time on my fishing boat in Alaska thinking about that,” he said. “I knew Maddie moving here was a possibility, but it wasn’t confirmed.
“With a big-hiiting middle like Maddie, it takes a lot of pressure off Jaycie (Roberts) and Juliana (Anderson). They have to account for her. She brings a lot of energy and emotion, and we feed off that.”
And, Jergesen and her exuberance on and off the floor was immdiately accepted and welcomed.
“They all accepted me right away,” Jergesen said. “I wished I’d moved sooner. I love it here.”
Jergesen was quiet in the opener, but a seven-point service run by Kylie Riske (2 kills, 4 blocks) and a six-point run by Natalie Anderson (3 kills, 6 digs, 25 assists) was too much for the Huskies to handle.
Riske took the ball with an 11-6 lead, and when she was through the lead was 17-6 thanks to three kills by Juliana Anderson (11 kills and 6 digs), an ace, a quick-set kill by Jergesen an a Reno error. After Reno scored two straight points, Natalie Anderson served up three aces and had a kill to make it 24-8. Then after the Huskies scored two straight points, Jergesen ended the first set with a kill.
Jergesen was formidable in the second set with six kills. Two of the blocks sparked a 3-0 surge to give Carson a 10-7 lead. Reno bounced right back to tie the set at 10, thanks in part to two consecutive errors by CHS.
Kills by Jergesen and Riske, the latter coming when a Reno pass went over the net, made it 12-10. Reno closed to one twice, 12-11 and 13-12, but a 7-2 surge led by two Riske blocks, kills by Roberts and Juliana Anderson gave Carson a 20-14 lead. Reno cut the deficit to 20-16, but Carson scored five of the game’s last six points to pull away. Jergesen had two kills and Reno made three errors in that span.
The third game was an afterthought, especially after Carson rolled to a 15-5 lead on the strength of two kills by Juliana Anderson, a kill by Roberts and a couple of ace serves by Natalie Anderson. Maw started to empty his bench at that point, and Reno cut the lead to 16-10 thanks to two aces by Nikki Hamada.
The lead stayed around six points until a service eror by Reno and a kill by Juliana Anderson made it 23-15. Reno stormed back to tie the match at 23, but a kill and ace by Juliana Anderson ended the game and match.
Reed beat Carson earlier this year, and the Senators went on to win 12 straight matches before finishing the regular season with losses to Bishop Manogue and Douglas. “Reed has a big outside hitter (Emilie Braun),” Maw said. “They are pretty 1-dimensional.
“We didn’t play well early in the season there. It was only the second match of the year with our new offense. Obviously we’re playing much better now.”
Braun had 308 kills and 179 digs, in leading the Raiders to the High Desert regular-season title.
Maw is counting on the Senators’ hittig depth to make up for Braun’s power.