Game 1 started with the teams trading points. Brandi Brucato broke a 3-3 tie with an ace, and then the Cougars scored three more points in a row to grab a 7-3 edge.
McQueen was only down by three, 11-8, but Spanish Springs rallied for four unanswered points, capped by a Gabby Szachara kill near the backline, leaving the visitors leading 15-8 on the scoreboard.
A McQueen timeout at 21-12 couldn’t stymie the Cougars’ momentum. Spanish Springs claimed a game-high 24-12 advantage and the first game ended three points later with the Lancers serving the ball out of bounds.
Spanish Springs jumped out to a quick lead in the second game. The Lancers needed a timeout after Lyndsey Anderson smashed a kill to push the gap to six points for the first time in Game 2, 11-5.
However, the Cougs kept on rolling, scoring two more points for a 13-5 edge. That was the largest margin of the second game.
The wheels fell off the Spanish Springs offense a couple times. Untimely mistakes allowed McQueen to climb back into the game at 13-9 and 15-12. The three-point deficit was the closest the Lancers would get.
The Cougars doubled that lead and made it an 18-12 ballgame with three straight points on back-to-back kills by Szachara and Melly Munley and a miss-hit by the northwest Reno school.
The cushion hovered around the six-point mark for the rest of the game until an Anderson kill gave the Cougars a 25-18 victory and a two games to none lead.
Game 3 was nothing like the first two. It was a battle through its entirety.
The hosts grabbed their first lead at 4-3 and increased it to a high of 6-4.
The largest lead for either team was 11-8 in favor of Spanish Springs.
McQueen was able to claw back into the game, tying it at 12-12, 13-13 and 14-14 before reclaiming the lead at 15-14.
Following a Munley kill, Spanish Springs went ahead 19-17, the first lead of more than one point by either team since the Cougars led 12-10.
The SSHS spikers were still in control of the game until a service error knotted the score at 22-22. Spanish Springs was called for a lift and an ace put the Lancers one point away from extending the match.
Down 24-22, the Cougars called their first timeout of the night and then proceeded to stun the home crowd.
A Myrissa Prince kill gave Spanish Springs a sideout. Anderson tipped the ball over on the second touch instead of setting it, tying the game at 24-24.
Then, Szachara tipped the ball into the hole in the middle of the court for a 25-24 lead and Hannah Meadows served up a soft sinker that found the ground for the match-ending ace, her third ace of the night.
“It’s two matches in a row where we have been down in Game 3 and fought back. I just like how we fought back,” SSHS volleyball coach Frank Sandomenico said. “We had zero subs. We told the girls we’re out of subs, so just go out there and play. I don’t think it’s a lack of focus that we’re playing tight games in the third. We’re just playing good teams. I think Reed and McQueen are good teams.
“I thought the girls would be a little more excited about it, but they kind of weren’t. You got to love that. I think we’re getting to the point where we expect to win.”
Munley led the way with 12 kills, while Loadholt and Szachara added eight and seven respectively. Anderson finished with 26 assists and six kills. Defensively, Brucato lifted 13 digs, Loadholt 12 and Kylie Baer 11.
Spanish Springs (15-4, 3-0 in Northern 4A) is back in action Tuesday at Galena.