Reed and Spanish Springs competed along with 34 other teams from Nevada and California in the opening round of tournament play. Divided into separate pools, both volleyball teams saw top competition from schools they were unfamiliar with.
In Pool E, Reed first took on Shasta High School from Redding, Calif. Unfortunately for the Blue and Gold, the Wolves were too much to handle as Shasta swept the best-of-three match with victories of 25-21 and 25-14.
The Raiders had little time to recuperate after their loss as their second game of the tournament was scheduled directly after the first. The short break between matches did not upset Reed though, as the Raiders grabbed a victory over Ponderosa High School of Shingle Springs, Calif. with wins of 25-21 and 25-13.
Looking to continue their winning ways, the Raiders ended the day of pool play against Ripon High School (Ripon, Calif.) but were met again with defeat.
While the first two matches went by fairly quickly with sweeps, the third and final match went the distance. In Game 1, the Indians secured a 25-22 victory before Reed returned the favor in the second game with a win of its own by an identical score of 25-22. With 15 points to determine the winner of Game 3 and the match, Ripon edged the Raiders 15-13.
“We started off slow against Shasta, but then we were able to pick ourselves up going into the next couple games,” Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt said. “I thought we played well against both Ponderosa and Ripon. We made some untimely mistakes that were unfortunate because in a close game, it gives it away. We played some good teams though so we definitely learned a lot about ourselves before we go into conference play next week.”
Although the Raiders lost a pair of their three matches, Flagtvedt said she was pleased with the performance overall.
“They showed that they don’t give up. They fight for every point. Whether they're winning or losing, they're playing the same every single time,” Flagtvedt said. “Hopefully, we can continue with that consistency and cut our own errors out. That’d be good at that point. We just have to be mentally tough and make smart decisions in more chaotic situations.”
Similar to the Raiders, Spanish Springs played three California clubs, but the Cougars had a little bit more success than their counterparts.
Facing off against Enterprise High School of Redding, Calif. in its first game, Spanish Springs coasted to a two-game sweep of the Hornets with matching wins of 25-13.
Next up on the schedule for the Cougars was the Leland High Chargers from San Jose, Calif. Much like their opponents in Game 1, Leland did little to pose much of a threat to the Cougs as Spanish Springs rolled to victories of 25-16 and 25-11.
While the first pair of matches may have been appetizers for the Cougars, the last match of the day was a little more daunting as the Purple and Silver took on St. Francis High School from Sacramento, Calif.
The reigning Delta River League and Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I Champions, the Troubadours are one of the premiere teams in the area, and proved so against the Cougars, sweeping the match. Although Spanish Springs was unable to win a set in the contest, it held its own, losing 20-25 and 22-25, leaving head coach Frank Sandomenico pleased.
“That just shows that if we just focus on playing defense all the time, we can play with any team out there. That’s an elite team from California and we gave them everything they could handle,” Sandomenico said. “We just let a couple balls drop that we shouldn’t have. Once we buy in on defense, which we’re about 90 percent there, once we get 100 percent buy-in on defense, we can play with any team out there. It’s about defense and communication. Everything else, honestly, I thought was as good as it could be. There’s nothing else. If we take care of those two things, we’ll be a really good team."
The tournament will continue today as both Sparks schools will start Round 2 at 8 a.m.