Doing its best impersonation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Blue and Gold appeared to send two different teams out despite the same players taking the court.
Behind a cluster of mental mistakes and miscommunications on the part of the Raiders, McQueen ran off nine straight points en route to a 13-2 lead in Game 1. Reed attempted to rally, cutting the deficit down to five, with the score at 19-14, but the 11-point gap proved too daunting a task to overcome as the Lancers closed at the first set 25-17.
“I think in the first set McQueen just had a really great serving team and we weren’t passing their serves like we needed to,” Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt said. “They really have some tough servers and we just weren’t getting our passes down in the first game. Once we kind of got into a rhythm, and we felt a little bit more comfortable, then that helped because we were able to pass their serves and run our offense like we needed to.”
Getting its bad play out of the way, the visitors did a U-turn for the remainder of the match.
Six unanswered points helped guide the Raiders to an 11-7 edge. Two points for the Lancers followed before Reed strung together an 8-2 run that pushed it ahead 19-11. Four straight points pulled McQueen back into the set with the scoreboard reading 19-15 before the Lancers crawled even closer at 22-20. Still, Reed managed to fend off the hosts' efforts with the final three points of Game 2 to knot the match at 1-1.
In Game 3, the teams battled back-and-forth as each tried to grab the match advantage.
A 6-4, McQueen's edge was soon erased with an 8-1 spurt to put the score at 12-7. Not to be outdone, the Lancers recorded the next six points to retake the lead with the score 13-12. That McQueen lead was short-lived though as the Raiders put together a 10-2 run to seize a 22-15 advantage en route to a 25-21 victory in Game 3.
Game 4 saw the two trade sideouts all the way to a 9-9 tie. Reed soon made the deadlock null and void as it rallied for a stretch of 15-5 to put itself one point away from the match win. A short serve from the Lancers finished out the game at 25-16 and handed the match to the Raiders.
“After that first game, we just took care of the ball when it came to our side,” Flagtvedt said. “We made sure we had good passes and we were able to put chances away. Defensively, we were where we needed to be and that allowed us to run our hitters how we needed to in order to be successful.”
Leading the way for Reed in kills was Moriah Maluotoga and Emilie Braun, each with 12. Katelyn Singer and Madi Funk both added eight kills of their own, with Funk also tallying seven blocks. Helping the Raiders with their kills, Taylor Stefan passed out 37 assists. Kelsey Donohoe also chipped in with 22 digs.
Reed (15-7, 5-1 HDL) will visit High Desert foe North Valleys on Tuesday at 6 p.m.