The Railroaders started off strong, winning the first game in what was a back and forth match. After Portola took an early 3-2 lead, Sparks strung together an 8-1 run to jump ahead 10-4. The Tigers responded with their own rally, tying the game at 10-10.
After a timeout was taken by Sparks to slow the Tigers’ momentum, the two teams exchanged points until it was 17-16 in favor of Portola. The Railroaders then put together another run, this time scoring eight unanswered to take a 24-17 lead. Portola clawed its way back though, tying the game at 24-24. Finally, Sparks regained its composure and put the game away 26-24.
That was the highlight of the night for the Railroaders, as the Tigers went on to win the next three games and take the match.
“The girls didn’t play up to their potential,” Sparks coach Tarina Elliot said. “We went in there wanting to beat them all three games, but we came out not doing that. We took them the first game and then after that we kind of went flat. I think once they got down in score, they were having a hard time fighting back, and that is what happened.”
The Railroaders did not have much to show in the stat columns. Katelyn Vandever led the team with eight kills, while Krystal Parker had four assists. Lety Perez added five digs.
Sparks will now look to shore up some of the mental mistakes and errors that riddled the match.
“We’re just going to work on fundamentals,” Elliot said. “We are going to go back to basics just so they can get the ball up.”
The Railroaders return to league action when they travel to Fernley next Tuesday.