MINDEN — Carmen Shaw and the Douglas Tigers seized the early momentum Tuesday night. The Carson Senators answered back, however, and rallied for a critical 3-1 Sierra League volleyball shootout win between league rivals.
Carson won by game scores of 25-27, 25-17, 25-20, 25-13 before a loud crowd at Randy Green Court.
Juliana Anderson had 19 kills, her freshman sister Natalie Anderson dished out 39 assists, and Maddie Jergensen delivered 9.5 blocks as Carson (10-1 league, 13-6 overall) remained tied for first place in the league standings.
“Tonight was a key win for us,” Carson coach Robert Maw said. “We knew it would be tough. We had to find a solution to Carmen and we didn’t find it that first game. Once we found her rotation then we matched our big blocker, Maddie, with her the next four games. Maddie is a tough girl and she had a blocking attitude tonight, so we just said, ‘Let’s line them up and battle.’”
Carson’s blocking was the difference, Maw added.
“That was the difference when we beat Bishop Manogue last week and it was the difference tonight,” he said. “When we get in people’s faces, it does change up how they hit.”
Douglas (8-3 league, 14-6 overall) retained its hold on third place in a tight league race.
“We’re just a young team that needs to figure it out sometimes,” Douglas coach Suzi Townsell said. “Overall, we didn’t play too bad. We’ve just got to learn how to finish. It’s as simple as that.”
Shaw had three kills as Douglas surged to leads of 5-0, 12-1 and 15-3 in the opening set before Carson rallied back. Douglas missed two opportunities to close out the set, only to see Carson come up with points to tie the score at 24 and 25-all. On the third opportunity, Douglas secured its 27-25 advantage on Johnnie Saletti’s service ace.
Carson gained the momentum from the start of the second set to take a 17-6 lead. Douglas pulled to within 21-16, only to see Juliana Anderson put down a kill over the middle and then a cross-court shot to push the margin to 23-17. Jaycie Roberts closed out the game with a kill from the left side.
The score was tied three times in a back-and-forth third set. Kylie Riske put down back-to-back cross-court shots from the right side to give the Senators leads of 22 and 23-19. Then Riske closed it out with a block in the middle.
In the fourth set, Natalie Anderson’s service ace gave the Senators a 2-1 lead and they never looked back. Keelin Pilgrim closed out the set and match with a cross-court shot from the right side.
“We’re quick and athletic and teams are finding that out,” Maw said. “We’re really quick on the hit.”
Roberts and the Anderson sisters all finished the night with double-doubles. Roberts contributed 11 kills and 12 digs, Natalie Anderson had 15 service points (3 aces) to go with her 39 assists, and Juliana Anderson had 10 digs and 2 blocks to go with her 19 kills.
“Juliana was huge for us tonight,” Maw said of the junior.
Jergensen had eight kills to go with her 9.5 blocks. Pilgrim added 6 kills, Riske 3 kills and 4 blocks, and McKenzie Tucker contributed 22 digs.
Shaw led Douglas with 13 kills, while Ariah Barth added six.
Raychel Allen led the defense with 12 digs.
The Douglas junior varsity volleyball team came from behind on Tuesday night and beat rival Carson in three sets and 25-27, 25-12, 15-12.
Note: Carson split four matches last weekend during a tournament in Carmichael, Calif., losing to Vacaville and Bay Area power Marin Catholic. Douglas travels to Stockton, Calif., on Saturday to play in a tournament hosted by Lincoln High School.