“It was alright. Our energy was a little low, but it got better as we went along,” SSHS volleyball coach Frank Sandomenico said. “We’re focused on Manogue right now, so we tried some things we hadn’t really practiced. We kind of just tried them on the fly. It was kind of ugly at times, but it was worth it.”
The Cougars’ starters sat most of Game 3 in order to let the reserves see more action. The reserves were still almost good enough to secure the victory for the hosts.
Spanish Springs was two points from winning the match, but saw the Hawks rally for five unanswered to force a Game 4.
The fourth and final game was not close.
With the score knotted at 2-2, Spanish Springs strung five points together in succession. Back-to-back aces by Rachel Loadholt capped the 5-0 rally to make it 7-2. Loadholt finished with five of the Purple and White’s 24 aces.
Hug closed to within four points, 10-6, but that was as good as it got for the visitors. A 7-0 spurt by Spanish Springs pushed the gap to 21-9 and erased any hopes of the Hawks tying the match at two games apiece. Morgan Prince contributed to four points in the rally.
Prince also ended the game by hammering a kill down with authority. She contributed nine kills along with Melly Munley.
Games 1 and 2 played out similarly.
Hug was still competitive in the first game at 14-11, but later an 8-1 rally by the SSHS spikers increased the lead to 21-12. However, the Cougs did not earn a double-digit lead until a Lyndsey Anderson block ended Game 1 at 25-15.
The Hawks were able to keep Game 2 a little closer. When Hug made it a 7-6 score on a long serve by Spanish Springs, the Cougars started opening up the lead by scoring the next six points.
The Reno school never got closer than five points, 19-14, the rest of the way.
For the home team, Anderson finished with a team-high 22 assists and six aces. Hannah Meadows added 10 assists.
Munley and Brandi Brucato both had four aces in the winning cause.
Spanish Springs (20-10, 9-7 in Northern 4A) earned itself the No. 3 seed from the High Desert League. Before the Cougars take on Bishop Manogue in the playoffs, they will host Truckee Monday in a final tune-up at 6 p.m.
“At this point in the year, you can only get so much out of practices. To play a team like Truckee, who will probably win the 3A state championship, will be good for us,” Sandomenico said.