by Joey Crandall, email@example.com
After advancing through the quarterfinals and semifinals on thrilling five-game wins, it was only fitting that the Douglas girls volleyball team would go to five games in the championship match.
Douglas prevailed in a back-and-forth battle against rival Carson in the Northern Division I Regional Championship Saturday night at North Valleys, claiming the first and fourth games before pushing ahead in the fifth for a 15-13 win after the lead changed hands several times.
The Tigers led 10-4 at one point in the final frame, only to see the Senators surge back in front. Douglas pushed ahead for the win, though, winning on a service ace.
“There was just no panic,” Douglas coach Suzi Townsell said. “It was just like Manogue (in the semifinals): Get up by six points, and lose the lead. I guess that’s just what we do.”
For Douglas, it is the second regional title in five years. The Tigers had beaten Carson in the final match of the regular season and haven’t looked back since. It was also the fifth match Douglas took to five games in its last seven outings.
“Against Carson, we beat them that last time,” Townsell said. “We pulled a 6-2 on them where we use two setters, which allows (primary setter) Talyn Jackson to hit, because she is a good hitter.
“We started in a 5-1 tonight, but we went back to the 6-2 and that helped open some things up. There was a lot of momentum swings, but their heads were never hanging in the huddle. There was just this feeling that we could do this.”
Isabelle Peterson led the Tiger attack with 13 kills, Ariah Barth added 12 kills, Carmen Shaw had nine kills, Taryn Allmett had eight kills and Jackson and Aubrey Caires each had four kills. Jackson also had six aces and dished out 32 assists. Raychel Allen had 20 digs and Shaw had four blocks to lead the defense and Emma Sperry dished out 13 assists.
Townsell said the team had a day off of practice on Friday after upending Manogue, and that they met for a tuneup Saturday before leaving for Reno.
“We just really talked about how there is no pressure on us. For the girls, that was huge.”
Douglas is now 20-12 overall on the year and will play in the state tournament Friday night.
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