The Cougars put up a good fight against the Reno Huskies on Thursday but still lost to the league leaders in three games, 25-21, 25-17 and 25-23 in a High Desert League match.
They’re better than we are,” Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. “They’re undefeated (in league) for a reason.”
Even with the sweep, Sandomenico wanted to continue to play Reno.
“I wish we could play them every night,” he said. “They make us play our best.”
The Cougars (9-15, 2-5 High Desert League) held their own against the Huskies and rallied back in Games 1 and 2 after Reno took large leads over the visitors.
In Game 1, Reno had a 19-13 lead over the Cougars, who pulled within one, at 20-19. Reno kept its composure and staved off a near upset by outscoring SSHS 5-2 in the last minutes of the game for the 25-21 triumph.
The story was the same in Game 2. Reno got an early lead at 7-3. Trailing 20-11, Spanish Springs started to make a move but couldn’t close the gap enough and fell 25-17.
The Cougars took the early in Game 3, 4-1. They were able to stay just a step ahead of Reno, leading 10-6 before Reno rallied and tied the game at 12-12. The squads battled nearly point for point but Spanish Springs would not relinquish its lead until Samantha O’Connell drove home a kill for the Huskies, who went on top 21-20.
An ace by Stacey Witt gave the lead back to Spanish Springs, 22-21, but the Huskies quickly tied it back up. Deadlocked at 23-23, Reno scored the final two points of the game to finish off the Cougars in a sweep.
“They came out hard against us,” Reno coach Adrian Hankoff said. “They fight to the end … There was not a time tonight where I was comfortable.”
Sandomenico said that many teams have not been able to score more than 20 points against Reno, and the Cougars have accomplished that feat six times during the season.
Hankoff agreed that the Cougars have played her Huskies very tough. She is surprised that Spanish Springs is just 2-5 in league.
“They’re going to be a force in the future,” Hankoff said.
For Spanish Springs, Lyndsey Anderson led the team with 15 assists to go along with two digs and three kills. Witt filled up the stat line with two aces, two digs, 11 assists, two blocks and three kills. Callie Aberle added three aces, three digs and eight kills.
The Cougars will host Hug at home on Tuesday night at 6 p.m.