The good thing was it was much needed.
The Cougars kept their playoff hopes alive by sweeping High Desert League rival Hug 25-15, 25-20, 25-22.
“We had to come out and win tonight,” SSHS volleyball coach Frank Sandomenico said. “After losing a 2-0 lead to McQueen … and we played Reno as well as anybody does, but in the end it was still a sweep. We had to win, and it was nice to actually get a sweep.”
After the hosts cruised to the 10-point victory in Game 1, Spanish Springs looked poised to cruise in the second game as well.
However, the Cougars could not pull away after grabbing a 16-10 edge with a 5-0 run. The Hawks answered with their own string of five unanswered points later in the game to tie it at 18-18.
Spanish Springs was able to take control after that, scoring the final four points of the game, which included an ace by Lyndsey Anderson on the backline sandwiched by two kills from Emily Meister.
“Hug’s a good team, and they have some great front-row players and a great setter, and they force you to block them,” Sandomenico said. “They blocked us and hit some balls, and they started passing better. That was pretty much the difference. They are doing some good things this year and aren’t the Hug team of years past.”
The Cougars’ strong service game continued in Game 3. Anderson had back-to-back aces to give the Purple and Teal a game-high 14-9 edge. Consecutive aces by Callie Aberle pushed the lead to 16-13 before a 4-0 run by the Hawks gave them the lead.
Spanish Springs had to battle back from a 21-18 deficit and answered the call with six unanswered points to get within one point of ending the match.
Hug’s Mary Mau kept the match going momentarily with a kill, but Melissa Munley ended it with her team-high ninth kill of the night.
“I was really happy with tonight since Stacey Witt was out and she’s our leader,” Sandomenico said. “I thought our girls stepped up and didn’t make any excuses. They just got it done without our leader.”
Spanish Springs’ offense was spread out with Julianna Waller, Aberle and Meister adding eight, seven and six kills respectively. Aberle also contributed six of the Cougars’ 16 aces.
Anderson took over full setting duties with Witt seeing very little playing time and she came away with 28 assists.
Spanish Springs (10-15, 3-5 HDL) faces another must-win situation when Elko comes to town Friday night. The Indians have already beaten the Cougs in eastern Nevada this fall.