Spanish Springs dominated the GHS spikers 25-10 in the first game before the Grizzlies awoke from their hibernation and cruised to a 10-25, 25-15, 25-15, 25-13 crossover league win.
“We couldn’t have played any better in Game 1 and couldn’t have played any worse after that,” Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. “You have to give them some credit though. They’re good.”
The Grizzlies lost three of their last four matches coming into the contest but did not play like it, improving to 8-3 in league games. Spanish Springs dropped to 19-6 overall, 10-2 in league games.
“They (Galena) have as much talent as anyone in the North,” Sandomenico said.
With a newly formatted school schedule, Nevada high school students have the week off from classes for a fall break. Sandomenico thought it affected his girls, who were without the energy they have carried all season.
“Even in Game 1, I thought we were flat even though we won 25-10,” Sandomenico said. “I just felt we had no energy, with no school this week. I don’t know, I thought we were flat.”
However, senior libero Brandi Brucato was certainly herself, leading the Cougars defense with several highlight reel digs in an attempt to kick start her squad. Brucato finished with 17 digs and three aces. Both led the team.
With the second game tied at eight, the Grizzlies rattled off the next 11 points to secure the game. Galena led the third game 10-7 before putting the game away, scoring the next seven points. And in the clinching game, Galena scored the first 10 points to prevent the Cougars from getting any comeback ideas.
Galena’s Casey Kline was a large reason the Cougars were unable to stay in games, racking up a match-high 20 kills.
Maintaining the season’s status quo, Hannah Meadows once again filled up the stat sheet for Spanish Springs with 18 assists, eight kills, five digs and a block. Gabby Szachara finished nearly opportunity she was given, throwing in nine kills as well as three blocks and a dig.
Following Tuesday’s performance, and an extended team meeting after the match, Sandomenico said he is going to open a few spots in the starting lineup to create competition.
Spanish Springs has a conveniently-placed bye, Thursday, before hosting Carson Tuesday.
Further south down I-580, Reed overcame a slow start in Carson to down the Senators 20-25, 27-25, 25-11, 25-22 in a road crossover league win.
Reed has won two straight and improved to 12-8, 6-5 in league games.
“I thought for the most part, in the games we won, we finished and we have struggled with that this season,” Reed coach Kris Flagtvedt said. “We didn’t let them come back. We put the game away when it was close.”
Flagtvedt thought her team had a nonchalant approach in the first game before turning on the afterburners in games two, three and four.
“(We) didn’t play to win. We played to stay in the game,” Flagtvedt said. “We just had to change the mindset that we needed to play to win. Carson is a good team and they’re not going to roll over and just let you have it.”
Maddie Funk’s 10 kills and five blocks both led Reed. Mo Maluotoga finished with 14 digs, seven kills, two blocks and two aces. Annie Braun continued to pass the ball well, handing out 23 assists and chipping in three aces. Additionally, Emilie Braun contributed 16 digs and nine kills.
Reed is playing arguably its best volleyball of the season but Flagtvedt is hesitant to call it anything more than that.
“We just have to keep pushing ourselves,” Flagtvedt said. “I don’t know if it’s momentum yet. I’d like to see it continue for a couple more weeks before I call it that.”
The Raiders will look to continue their, whatever Flagtvedt wants to call it, Thursday, at Hug.