Using a strong performance on defense and finding holes littered throughout the Miners' D, Reed took the match in four sets to hand Manogue its first league loss of the season, 25-23, 13-25, 25-22 and 25-17.
“Manogue is a great team and they have some great hitters, so our goal was to make sure that our block was in the right spot,” Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt said. “If our block was in the right spot, then defensively we could make sure we were all in the right spot based on that. If our block wasn’t there, I think that is when we got into trouble, but having our blockers step up really helped our defense because they knew exactly what to cover. I think they felt confident with how our front row was doing so they felt more comfortable in the back row.
“Going into this game, I felt that we were a strong team, but we’ve had so many highs and so many lows this season that we really needed to focus on cutting out our own mistakes. We had to be able to clean up our side of the court and I think that really helped us. Other than that second game, I thought we did a good job of taking care of the ball when it was on our side of the court and not worrying so much about what they were doing.”
After Reed squeaked out a 25-23 win in Game 1, and the Miners responded with a 25-13 win in the second set, the Raiders jumped out to an 8-4 advantage in the crucial third set. Unwilling to give in, BMHS battled back to cut the deficit to 11-9. The Miners then strung together an 11-4 burst to seize a 20-15 edge. Despite Manogue’s best efforts though, the Raiders were left undaunted.
After a soft shot from Amber Harris found the corner of the court to end the Miners’ streak, Reed went on a 10-2 run to take Game 3, 25-22, with the final three points coming on kills from Taylor Baer.
In Game 4, the spikers fought back-and-forth en route to a slim 13-12 lead in Reed’s favor. From there, the Raiders caught fire as their defense repeatedly sent return volleys back at Manogue and refused to let anything drop in their side of the court.
Behind the strength of its defense, Reed scored nine of the next 11 points to leave the scoreboard reading 22-14. Following three straight points from the Miners, the Raiders closed out Game 4 with a trio of points of their own on a tip shot and block from Madi Funk before a Moriah Maluotoga ace sealed the win.
Funk led the Raiders in their winning effort as she tallied nine kills to go along with four blocks, playing a large part in the strong RHS defense.
“Madi really did step it up tonight,” Flagtvedt said. “She was aggressive when she was hitting and she had a great game blocking. She got her feet where she needed to be and I think she really started feeling comfortable. I’m really happy with how she stepped up tonight.”
Along with Funk, Maluotoga chipped in seven kills and 11 digs. Katelyn Singer and Taylor Baer helped on the offensive attack with five and four kills, respectively, while Singer also contributed four blocks. Taylor Stefan passed out a game-high 32 assists and Kelsey Donohoe had 14 digs on the night.
Reed (17-7, 7-1) will try to maintain its momentum when it hosts rival Spanish Springs on Tuesday at 6 p.m.