“The good news is that we got done what we needed to,” Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt said. “I just don’t think that we played as consistent as I would like to see.”
The Raiders never trailed at any point during the three-game match, dominating from the opening serve.
Game 1 saw Reed jump to a quick 8-3 lead. The Raiders then extended their advantage to double digits, pushing the lead to 20-10. The Panthers took a timeout in hopes of slowing Reed, but the Raiders would not be stopped, trading points with North Valleys before Moriah Maluotoga tipped a shot to the far right corner of the court between two diving Panthers to clinch the first game.
Reed used an even faster start in Game 2, scoring the first five points of the game on the way to an 8-1 lead. The teams then traded sideouts before the Raiders strung together a six-point run to open a 17-5 lead. Reed never relinquished the double-digit lead, closing out the game 25-13 and going up two games.
The third game saw a similar start from the Raiders, as they once again pounced on the Panthers, this time with six unanswered points to start the game and an eventual 9-3 lead. Reed extended the lead to 14-7 aided by a 5-1 run, but saw North Valleys claw its way back to within four points at 16-12. The Raiders then took a timeout to recuperate. Coming out of the break, Reed scored four points right away and then put together five more unanswered points to cap off the game and the match.
“We just needed to start playing our game,” Flagtvedt said. “We strung too many errors together there at the end. We needed to clean up our side of the net. Thankfully we were able to do that.”
Taylor Stefan led the RHS club in assists, dealing out 13 on the night. Olivia Emerson contributed to the victory with seven kills, along with five kills from Maluotoga and McKinley Chesley.
Now, the Raiders (14-6, 7-2) set their sights on Thursday evening and their showdown with cross-town rival Spanish Springs.
“The girls are always excited for every game, but they know a lot of the Spanish Springs girls, so they are probably a little bit more excited for this one,” Flagtvedt said. “Spanish Springs is a good team, so we just need to come in and play our game and we’ll see what happens.”
The much-anticipated match with the Cougars is set to start Thursday at 6 p.m.
•While Reed was handling its business across town, Spanish Springs was doing the same at home as it swept its match against Hug Tuesday evening: 25-13, 25-10, 25-13.
“I thought we played OK,” Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. “The energy was kind of low. I thought we did a couple of good things. We ran our middles really well, which was nice. We served really well too. We just need to take it up a notch the second half of the season. We are at the point now where we’re playing teams for a second time, and hopefully we improve and take that next step”
Gabby Szachara led the Cougars with eight kills, while Melly Munley added seven kills and Rachel Loadholt chipped in six more. Munley also had a match-high eight aces.
Sitting atop the High Desert League standings, Spanish Springs (19-5, 7-1) will now visit Reed on Thursday in one of the key match-ups of the season thus far.
“We are looking forward to a great, exciting match with Reed,” Sandomenico said. “We are expecting great energy and a great crowd. We didn’t have that tonight, so we are looking forward to having a high energy, intense match.”