"I felt that McQueen is always a scrappy team and I felt that they just outplayed us," Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt said. "They started off strong and we dug ourselves too many holes to buy out of. At moments we played well but I think they just flat out outplayed us. They played smarter than us."
The squads battled through three games and Reed fell: 19-25, 22-25, 25-23, 22-25.
"It's always a great match coming to play Reed," McQueen coach Jeff Zimmerman said. "I've been coaching for 10 years and every single match, home and away, it's been absolutely intense."
In Game 1, the teams matched each other nearly point for point until McQueen went on a four-point run to take a 15-10 lead over the host Raiders. Reed was unable to fight back, and the Lancers hit another streak scoring six straight for a 22-12 lead and eventually took the 25-19 win.
Reed jumped ahead of the Lancers in Game 2 with a 6-2 lead after an ace by Alicia Lee. Reed forged ahead to a 10-6 advantage before the Lancers regained some composure and caught up to trail 10-9 after several plays where Reed was out of position and had trouble communicating. McQueen scored four in a row to take a 15-14 lead.
The teams battled back and forth through the latter part of the game, tying at 18 and at 21. Tied again at 22 apiece, McQueen's Jamie Palotai got a hard spike to push her team ahead 23-22 and McQueen scored two more for the 25-22 win.
McQueen appeared to have control of Game 3, and would make a quick exit on the evening with a 15-7 lead, but Reed was not ready to give up. Reed pulled within five, 17-12 but McQueen pushed ahead to a 22-14 lead. With Elizabeth Stacy at the helm serving, Reed pulled to just four being, 22-18. McQueen got another scored on Reed, leading 23-18.
"We kind of started out a little slow," Zimmerman said on Game 3. "Then we made some adjustments near the end and some things didn't work our way. Offensively we started getting blocked a lot more."
McQueen served out of bounds, and then scored on a block to close the gap to 23-20. A few key McQueen out of bounds hits and good blocking helped the Raiders immensely. Reed scored seven in a row to seal the deal and push things to a Game 4.
In Game 4, McQueen again jumped ahead to an early lead, 6-3. The teams seesawed again, one upping each other tying at every other point. Reed looked it may have gotten the upper hand after consecutive blocks by Katrina Spencer, giving Reed the 22-20 lead. Reed knocked a ball out of bounds, giving McQueen a point, and control of the serve.
"When we were able to shut something down, they started something else and we couldn't adjust," Flagtvedt said.
Trailing 22-21 an attempted block by Reed went out of bounds. Emily Cecere-Waters got two aces during the final service and led her squad to a 25-22 final win.
"Winning these matches are between two playoff teams in my view," Zimmerman said. "Reed is definitely a playoff team and I believe McQueen is as well. It's for seeding."
Reed (7-9, 0-1 HDL) still has a lot of volleyball to play before the season ends, and in no way is one loss going to deter Reed from playoff aspirations.
"There's still so many teams that we still will have to face," Flagtvedt said. "I still have a young team. Hopefully they'll get better every time they step on the court. They showed us some things we definitely need to work on."
Stacy led Reed with 10 kills, 14 digs and once ace. Kendra Davis had 12 kills, three digs and six blocks. Spencer posted seven kills and six blocks. Kyndal Comphel had nine digs and 10 assists. Cheyenne Faanes added four kills and nine digs for the Raiders.
McQueen's Palotai, a freshman this year, who bothered Reed all night, had 19 kills and 15 digs. Lindsey Ball had a big game for the Landers with 14 kills, six digs to go along with one block and one ace.
Reed is in action again on Wednesday against Damonte Ranch.
"Going to work on some defensive things and on covering if they're hitting a hard attack or if they're tipping," Flagtvedt. "Being able to cover and move our feet on defense. I think that definitely hurt us tonight so that's something we'll be focusing on."