Tigers win playoff opener against McQueen | RecordCourier.com

Tigers win playoff opener against McQueen

A fast start on Tuesday night put the Douglas High volleyball team on track to a 3-1 Northern 4A Region Tournament win at home against McQueen.

The Tigers took charge from the outset and went on to win by set scores of 25-15, 25-13, 22-25, 25-11 at Randy Green Court.

"DT volleyball played with a purpose tonight," Douglas coach Suzi Townsell noted afterward. "As a whole, the team had a focused competitive spirit that carried them through to victory. The entire team rocked it with energy and wonderful enthusiasm."

Isabelle Peterson, Anna Bertolone and Hailey Hughes combined to put down 36 kills as Douglas (24-9) advanced to the tournament semifinals Thursday against High Desert League champion Spanish Springs at Galena High in Reno.

Peterson finished with 14 kills, while Bertolone added 12 and Hughes 10. Sierra Sullivan also contributed eight kills to the team's balanced attack. Hughes had 10 kills on 11 attempts.

"Isabelle and Hailey both played with an impressive IQ," Townsell explained. "Our outside hitters, Anna Bertolone, Taryn Allmett and Sierra Sullivan, worked hard to keep the McQueen defense on their heels."

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That "IQ" was displayed during a stretch in the final set when the Tigers pushed their lead from 10-9 to 16-10. Hughes took a set in the middle and tipped the ball to open space, then the 6-foot sophomore found openings for two more kills to make it 14-10. All three kills came off assists from Talyn Jackson. Sullivan followed with another kill to push the lead to 16-10 and Peterson had back-to-back kills to make it 23-11.

Raychel Allen and Jackson contributed 18 digs each to lead the defensive effort. Bertolone also had nine digs.

Jackson dished out 40 assists to go with seven points and six kills as part of a strong all-around performance.

Bertolone had 13 service points (three aces), Madison Rozier 10 points (two aces), Allen nine points and Allmett eight. Each of Bertolone's aces came in the second set during a seven-point run in which the Tigers extended their lead to 18-7.

The Lancers, who ended their season with a 17-13 record, rallied back in a third set that saw five lead changes and 10 ties. Outside hitters Kaila Spevak and Annika Kerns combined on five kills down the stretch for McQueen and Natalie Kreig served back-to-back aces for a 24-21 lead.

This marks the third straight year Douglas has defeated the Lancers in the region tournament's first round. The Tigers went on to win the 2014 region title and lost in the semifinals last year against Carson.

The region championship match is scheduled to be played Saturday at 4 p.m. at Galena. The two finalists advance to the 4A state tournament next Friday and Saturday at Damonte Ranch High in Reno.