Spanish Springs' and Reed’s volleyball teams started their season on the right foot this weekend in the 23rd annual Las Vegas Invitational. The highly-competitive tournament featured 40 of the top teams from the region.
The Cougars finished in a tie for fifth place while the Raiders dropped their second game in the ‘silver’ bracket.
Spanish Springs was the only team from northern Nevada to advance to the ‘gold’ bracket, the eight-team single-elimination bracket for the tournament title. The Cougars were ousted by Green Valley in the second round, the same team they beat for the state crown last fall.
Coach Frank Sandemonico’s group finished 6-2 on the tournament, a particularly impressive feat playing in a pool that Sandemonico described as “stacked.”
“I’m really happy to finish in golds,” Sandemonico said. “Overall, we played pretty well.”
Despite the seven-hour drive and the large field, it was Spanish Springs that sent Reed into the silver bracket, knocking off the Raiders 2-1.
“Frank (Sandemonico) and I were actually joking about that,” Reed coach Kristen Flagvedt said.
Flagvedt said the hope when traveling that distance, and playing in a tournament like the one in Vegas, is to play teams they haven’t seen before.
“We made a few more mistakes than I would have liked (against Spanish Springs),” Flagvedt said.
Reed booted Lincoln 2-1 in the first round of the silver bracket before falling to Foothill by the same score.
Last week Flagvedt said one of her biggest concerns going into 2013 was getting her group to play as a team. Her team’s play over the weekend helped calm that unease.
“We really gelled this weekend…,”Flagvedt said. “We’re headed in the right direction going into the season.”