A Senior Night hit for Douglas volleyball
Isabelle Peterson and Anna Bertolone combined to hammer down 36 kills Thursday afternoon when the Douglas High volleyball team posted a 3-1 rivalry win over Carson.
Peterson, a senior middle blocker, delivered 22 kills and Bertolone, a 6-foot freshman outside hitter, added 14 while setter Talyn Jackson contributed a triple double to help spark Douglas (12-4 Sierra League, 23-9 overall) in the Senior Night match at Randy Green Court.
After dropping the first set, the Tigers rallied to win 19-25, 25-23, 25-8, 25-21.
In the process, the Tigers clinched second-place in the final league standings and earned the right to host McQueen (No. 3 High Desert League seed) in the first round of the Northern 4A Region Tournament on Tuesday.
Carson (11-5, 21-10) dropped into third-place and will travel to Reno (No. 2 High Desert seed) for its opening round playoff match on Tuesday.
Jackson handed out 44 assists to go with 17 service points and 14 digs. Bertolone added 13 points.
The difference for Douglas from its five-set loss at Carson on Oct. 11 was consistency from the service line and on defense, coach Suzi Townsell observed.
“We cleaned up our services, which is the key to getting your offense going,” she said. “Tonight, we had eight missed serves. We had 15 the last time, and some of those came in game-point situations.
“And our defense was lights out tonight,” the coach added. “Our blocking was key and so was our defense in general … we were picking up a lot of balls just by being ready and anticipating well.”
Senior libero Raychel Allen had a team-high 16 digs and Jackson five blocks to help spark the defensive effort.
“It was key for us to be able to block Carson’s left side hitter,” Townsell said. “Talyn and Sierra (Sullivan) did a good job over there.”
In the pivotal second set, Jackson and Peterson combined on a block that gave Douglas a 23-22 lead and Peterson followed with a solo block that made it 24-23.
“Talyn was exceptional as far as her setting and defense,” Townsell said of Jackson, who has announced she will graduate from high school in June, one year early in order to pursue a volleyball offer from Virginia Tech. “She stepped up when it was needed.”
Carson coach Robert Maw praised the Tigers’ Peterson and 6-foot sophomore Hailey Hughes in the middle.
“Give credit to their middles, No. 9 (Peterson) and No. 10 (Hughes),” Maw said. “They hit well and they hit quick. As much as we’ve been working on blocks we were not able to check them.”
Jaycie Roberts led Carson with 15 kills and 13 digs. Keelin Pilgrim, on the right side, contributed 11 kills and eight digs. Abby Pradere had 22 digs and Natalie Anderson had 36 assists.
For five Douglas seniors — Taryn Allmett, Ashley Campagna, Peterson, Jackson and Allen — it was a fitting end to their regular season. Now, they’re looking forward to the start of a new season on Tuesday at 6 p.m. when they face McQueen in the playoffs. This is the third year in a row the Tigers and Lancers have met in the region tournament’s opening round.
“They’re an amazing group of leaders,” Townsell said of the team’s seniors. “Their presence in the program has definitely made us stronger.”