The Purple and Silver dominated play from the opening serve as it outscored the Panthers by a total of 75-38, cruising to three straight set victories for the High Desert League sweep 25-12, 25-11, 25-15. The win improved Spanish Springs to 22-4 overall and 9-1 in Nevada Northern Division I play.
“It’s the second really good serving effort that we’ve put out there in a row,” Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. “Our serving was really good the whole match, which is always good. The best thing is that we have 13 really good volleyball players and they all played tonight. It didn’t matter who was in there because they all played a really good, clean game.”
From the onset of the match, the Cougars established a relentless attack against the hosts.
Using an onslaught of strong hits to start Game 1, SSHS blitzed North Valleys with a fury of kills, including a trio from Gabby Szachara, en route to a 9-0 lead. From there the Cougs pushed their lead to double digits at 17-4. A small four-point rally by the Panthers cut the deficit back down to single digits, but only for a short time. A quick 5-1 spurt by Spanish Springs brought the score to 22-9 before the Cougars finished off the first game at 25-12.
It looked as though NVHS would put up more of a fight in the second set as the two sides started the match with a 3-3 tie, but another large run from Spanish Springs erased that thought.
Sparked by a kill from Rachel Loadholt that seemed to dive to the court between all six Panthers, SSHS scored 11 of the next 12 points to turn what was a deadlock into a 14-4 advantage. North Valleys marked a 5-1 dash to leave the scoreboard reading 15-9 in favor of the Cougars, but the visitors returned the favor with a 5-1 run of their own to maintain their double-digit lead at 20-10. After a point for the Panthers, Spanish Springs finished out the game with five straight points capped with a combo block by Bayley Broadwater and Szachara for a 25-11 win.
Just like the first two sets, the Cougars jumped all over North Valleys in Game 3.
Leaving the Panthers in disarray, Spanish Springs dropped shots all over the court to seize a 13-3 lead. Afterward, the Cougars put together a 10-5 run to bring the score to 23-8. A momentary NVHS surge of 7-1 extended the match to 24-15, but a kill from Myrissa Prince through a pair of Panther defenders’ hands closed out the third set and the match.
The Cougars spread the wealth around in the contest as five players accounted for five or more kills, with Loadholt and Melly Munley tying for a game-high nine kills. Hannah Meadows passed out a contest-high 22 assists, while Lyndsey Anderson and Broadwater dealt out eight and six, respectively. Prince led the team in digs with nine, while also tallying seven kills. SSHS finished the match with 11 aces, led by Brandi Brucato's three.
The lopsided affair allowed the Cougars to work in ample playing time for their reserves and Sandomenico said he was pleased with the effort all around.
“It’s super important we got everyone in because more than anything, it makes our practices better. When we have girls that are getting game experience, it makes them better players and then that makes our practices better. It’s just good,” Sandomenico said. “Those girls work hard and put the time in, and they deserve to play so it’s nice to reward them and get everybody in and still be able to play at a high level.”
Next on the schedule for Spanish Springs is a home matchup with Galena on Tuesday. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m.