“I think it was a combination of us playing well and they didn't play well,” Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. “It was the exact same as the first time, just flipped.”
Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt had similar sentiments.
“I felt like Spanish Springs stepped up to play and we did not,” Flagtvedt said. “We made a lot of mistakes and against a good team, you can't afford to do that. We had too many unforced errors.”
Spanish Springs grabbed the momentum late in Game 1 and never let go. Reed led 24-21, but could not close out the Cougars. Spanish Springs reeled off five straight points to take the Game 1 victory. SSHS sophomore Rachel Loadholt concluded the game with a kill, one of her match-high 12 on the night.
Game 2 was close early. A Spanish Springs service error left the two schools deadlocked at 8-8, but the wheels fell off the Raiders' wagon from there. Spanish Springs put together a 9-0 run that forged the hosts ahead 17-8.
Reed trailed 21-11 after a Kyndal Comphel dump set, Spanish Springs scored the final five points of Game 2 to cash in the win.
Krissy Beebe had a kill. Reed hit the net on an attack. Melly Munley had a kill and a Reed hitting error accounted for the key game-finishing 4-0 run.
Game 3 looked similar to Game 2 for a while. Spanish Springs was firmly in control, up 20-14 after a Munley kill. However, Reed put together a last-gasp effort to steal a game. The Raiders scored three straight points to trim the SSHS edge to 20-18 after a Kendra Davis kill.
Spanish Springs pushed its lead back to four, 22-18, following a Munley kill and Beebe ace.
Reed eventually got to within 24-23 after Loadholt hit a ball into the net, but Spanish Springs called a timeout and regrouped. Munley put away a ball for a kill, ending Game 3 and the match.
Spanish Springs' win pulls the Cougars (16-7) even with the Raiders (15-7) in the High Desert League standings. Both teams sit 6-4 in conference clashes and tied for second place behind league-leading Reno.
In addition to 12 kills, Loadholt had four aces and four digs. Munley chipped in six kills for the Cougars while Lyndsey Anderson had 19 assists and three aces. Kylie Baer added a team-high nine digs to the local club's winning effort.
“This felt really good,” said Loadholt, who struggled in the Cougars' loss at Reed last month. “I felt like we had confidence. I think I came out a little scared at first, but as we were playing together and getting it going, I just knew we could do it.”
For Reed, Davis is one of the top middle blockers in the region. Spanish Springs limited her to four blocks and four kills Thursday.
“Davis is a difference maker,” Sandomenico said. “When she kills it, it's a thunderous kill. It's big emotionally for them. I think our serving got them out of rhythm and they couldn't go to her as much as they wanted to. It was nice to not have to defend her as much.”
Spanish Springs tallied 13 aces compared to Reed's three. Both coaches admitted that was a key difference.
“Spanish Springs serves tough,” Flagtvedt said. “If you don't show up to play against that, this is what happens. We always know that Spanish Springs has some tough jump servers. In the first match against them, we handled it pretty well. But tonight, it definitely took us out of our offense.”
Reed is in action again Tuesday when it goes to Galena for a 6 p.m. match. Spanish Springs also is on the court Tuesday. It will host Douglas at 6 p.m.