It wasn’t typical Carson High volleyball, but it was enough to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
Despite not having a hitter reach double digits in kills, the Senators breezed past Reno 25-14, 25-19 and 25-17 Tuesday night in the opening round of the Division I regional playoffs at Morse Burley Gym.
Carson advances to a 5 p.m. meeting on Thursday against arch-rival Douglas at Bishop Manogue. The Tigers, the No. 4 team in the Sierra League, knocked off High Desert champ McQueen in four sets. It turned out to be a clean sweep for Sierra League teams, as No. 1 Bishop Manogue beat No. 4 Reed and No. 3 Damonte bested No. 2 Spanish Springs.
Carson won both meetings against the Tigers this year, needing five sets at home and four sets last week at Douglas.
“No matter who we were going to play on Thursday it is going to be a tough game,” CHS middle blocker Maddie Jergesen said. “Douglas knows our tendencies. We have to play tough.”
“Playing Douglas you have the emotion factor (playing your rival),” CHS coach Robert Maw said. “We just need to play our game. We didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t play fast-tempo volleyball, and that was because of our passing.”
Maw wasn’t happy with his team’s overall play, but he did acknowledge that sweeping Reno, and not having to expend a huge amount of energy to do it, was good.
“We have some minor aches and pains. Natalie (Anderson, setter) has some back issues and Jaycie (Roberts) has sore legs,” Maw said. “I need to rest them up a little. We’ve been pushing pretty hard. I’ll take the win.”
Carson scored eight of the first 10 points in the opening set, as Abby Pradere had an ace and Makenzie Tucker served up two aces. Reno defenders didn’t move their feet, and the Senators took advantage of it by mixing up the speed of their serves.
A 4-0 run keyed by a Roberts ace and kill and a kill by Juliana Anderson extended Carson’s lead to 12-4. A 5-1 Reno run led by Kaitlyn Blassou and Parker Buddy cut Carson’s lead to 16-10. Two kills by Roberts, one by Natalie Anderson, one by Kylie Riske and a stuff block by Jergesen keyed a 7-2 run and enabled the Senators to go up 23-12.
“I expected it (the serving) to continue,” Maw said. “Reno stepped up its game and did a better job at serve receive after that.”
The Huskies led 3-1 and 11-10 in the second set before the Senators got on track. A 7-1 run enabled Carson to grab a 17-12 lead.
Natalie Anderson started the surge with a dink and her sister, Juliana, served up an ace to give the Senators a 12-11 lead. After a stuff block by Dajarrah Navarro, Juliana Anderson had a back row kill and ace to make it 15-11. A Riske block made it 16-11, capping the 6-0 run. After Reno’s Blassou scored off a block, Roberts returned the favor to make it 17-12.
Three Carson errors enabled Reno to close to 18-17. Three Husky errors , a kill by Jergesen and an ace by Roberts put Carson in front 23-17. The Huskies closed to 23-19, but kills by Jergesen and Juliana Anderson closed out the game.
The third set started with the teams exchanging points. A 5-2 Reno surge gave the Huskies an 11-10 lead. It was the last lead they would enjoy.
Jergesen got hot at the net, putting down three straight kills to put the Senators up 14-11. Two Reno errors made it 16-11, and kills by Jergesen and Juliana Anderson plus an ace by Roberts capped the 9-0 surge and put CHS comfortably in front at 19-11.
“I don’t know what was happening earlier,” said Jergesen, who had half of her eight kills in the final game. “I had a rough start. I needed something to get me going.”
That something was a quick set from Natalie Anderson (28 assists) that Jergesen pounded down.
“The middles didn’t get a lot of balls,” Maw said. “Natalie got the ball to Maddie in that third game. We just didn’t play quick tonight.”
Reno made a brief run to close to 19-14, but Carson scored five of the last seven points, three coming on kills by Juliana Anderson.
Juliana Anderson led the hitters with nine kills, while Jergesen added eight and Roberts six. Roberts did lead the team with 15 digs, while Riske had six blocks and Jergesen and Juliana Anderson had four apiece.