After dropping its first game with the Mustangs, Reed rallied to win three straight and take a 3-1 victory: 27-29, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-22.
“I thought that even though we played a little bit inconsistent, we played well all around,” Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt said. “I had some players in that were kind of moved in different spots and they really stepped it up. Mo (Moriah Maluotoga) has been one of our most consistent players and she just wasn’t feeling well today so with her out, people went in and really stepped up and played hard. No matter what the score was or what was happening with the game, we still continued to push. We didn’t give up. We didn’t think that they were going to take the games from us and we just kept playing.
Heading into Game 3, with the match knotted at 1-1, the Raiders took a 6-4 edge in the set after running off five straight points, including a pair of blocks by Katelyn Singer. From there, the Mustangs closed the gap to a 10-10 tie before Reed grabbed a slight 16-15 advantage. The one-point deficit would be the closest the home squad would get the remainder of the third set.
Sparked by a strong kill by Taylor Baer as well as a block by Amber Harris, the Raiders strung together a 9-1 run that closed out the set and put Damonte on the edge of defeat.
In Game 4, the Mustangs worked their way to a slim 5-3 lead, but five unanswered points from Reed handed the Raiders an 8-5 advantage. Damonte squared the set at 8-8 with three quick points. The sides battled back-and-forth from there, trading side-outs until the tie increased to 22-22. Just a mere three points away from the match victory, Reed forced a trio of Mustang errors to take the fourth set, as well as the match win.
Madi Funk led the Reed winning effort as she finished the night with nine kills and a pair of blocks. Moriah Maluotoga and Emilie Braun both tallied six kills, with Braun recording five digs and Maluotoga four. Taylor Stefan handed out 29 assists while also marking 12 digs and four aces. Kelsey Donohoe chipped in with 10 digs, while KaPreace Young had seven of her own.
With Maluotoga playing limited time, Flagtvedt said it was key for Raider reserves to get game experience.
“It’s important just because the fact that without Mo in, everyone has to step up. Everyone really tried hard tonight and it really made me feel good that those girls that came in from the reserve side really stepped up their play and got their job done,” Flagtvedt said. “They knew what to do to be able to get crucial points. They just really picked up their play tonight.
“Going into the end of the season, that’s what you want because anything can happen and you have to be prepared. No matter if you’re a starter or someone who is coming in as a sub, you have to be ready to play. You never know when your opportunity is going to come up.”
Reed (23-7, 12-2 High Desert) will now get set to host McQueen on Thursday at 6 p.m.
“We just have to continue to work on playing consistently and not giving teams as many runs as we have,” Flagtvedt said. “We just have to find a way to start strong and finish strong.”
Over the weekend, the Spanish Springs volleyball team traveled to Sacramento to take part in the Carmichael Invitational. After going 5-2 in the tournament, Cougars head coach Frank Sandomenico said that the tourney, which featured top California prep squads, helped his team in a number of ways. If the Purple and Silver’s performance in Carson on Tuesday was any indication, teams throughout Nevada Northern Division I may be wishing the Cougs never made the trip to the Golden State.
Visiting the Senators in a crossover league match, Spanish Springs earned an easy 3-0 sweep, 25-15, 25-13 and 25-15.
“They played at a really high level,” Sandomenico said. “It was some of our best volleyball of the year. So we want to stay in that rhythm and get them going. We want to keep that going and keep that high level of play up.”
Led by Lyndsey Anderson, who passed out 23 assists in addition to adding four kills and a block, Spanish Springs steamrolled Carson. Rachel Loadholt led the team with a game-high 10 kills, as well as 14 digs. Melly Munley also chipped in with nine kills and nine digs, while Briana Parrish tallied four kills and four blocks on the night.
Seeing a strong effort from each member of his squad, Sandomenico said he is happy to see the Cougars hitting their stride, heading into the end of the regular season.
“It’s really important to see that they are playing at their best right now,” he said. “There are times when they’re playing really well in transition and just playing really clean volleyball and it’s just fun to watch as a coach. There were times tonight when I just got to sit back and watch and it’s good that we’re playing our best volleyball right now.”
As Spanish Springs (30-6, 12-1 HDL) closes in on a regular season league crown, Sandomenico said the Cougars need to keep their focus on defense.
“We are always talking about just buying in on defense. I feel like that’s our No. 1 thing,” Sandomenico said. “If we commit to defense and play at a high level on defense, then everything else will fall into place.”
The Cougars visit Hug on Thursday at 6 p.m.