"I thought we did a much better job blocking tonight," Reed coach Kristen Flagtvedt said. "Morgan McGwire is a great player for them. We played them earlier and she did a great job hitting through and around the block. Going in today, we knew we had to know where she was and limit her. We did a good job with that."
Reed left little doubt it was the better team Thursday. If not for a brief 10-minute letdown toward the end of the first game, where Reno ripped off an 11-1, the Raiders may have captured a rare league sweep.
Reed took control of the match late in Game 2. After watching the Huskies trim a five-point lead to one, at 21-20, the Raiders scored four of the next five points to even the match at a game apiece.
Reno had led 13-9 in Game 2, but Reed proceeded to go on a 12-3 spurt that it gave the momentum it never gave up.
The visiting Huskies could not turn the tide in Game 3. Reed jumped out to a 16-5 advantage. Reno tried to hang around. It got as close as 22-17 after a Reed hitting error, but that's as good as it got for the guests. Reed took advantage of two Reno hitting errors and then got a kill from Rachel Marshall to kill off the third game, forging the Raiders ahead two games to one.
Reed did not trail in Game 3. The Raiders blew out to a 10-3 lead, a run capped off by a Marshall kill. Maddie Funk and Moriah Maluotoga both had two kills in the early spurt.
Reno made one last-gasp effort to try and stay in contention. The Huskies scored nine of the next 11 points and knotted the game at 12-12. However, Reed nixed any Reno comeback hopes when it answered with an 8-1 run of its own, snagging a 20-13 lead.
Reno got to within three, 23-20, after an ace by Summer Santos. Reed finished the game and match after kills by Maluotoga and Funk.
"Reed had great energy. They had a good crowd, fed off it and played well," first-year Reno coach Kuna Nakagawa said. "We didn't pass very well. Our offense got predictable."
Funk was dominant at the net for Reed. She contributed 14 kills and eight blocks to the east Sparks school's winning cause. Emilie Braun and Maluotoga both added 10 kills while Maluotoga also chipped in 13 digs. Cassy Walsh gave away 33 assists for the Blue and Gold. and Kelsey Donohoe lifted a match-high 24 digs.
"Maddie had an awesome game," Flagtvedt said. "A huge game. For a middle, we did a good job getting her the ball. And when she's on, that makes other a threat."
Reed (11-8, 5-5) plays again Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Carson.
At Spanish Springs, the host Cougars had no trouble disposing of North Valleys Thursday, posting a 25-18, 25-12, 25-11 sweep.
"The nice thing was we played a lot of our girls who don't get a lot of playing time and they played well," Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. "Game 1 was a little rusty, but we didn't practice yesterday. We were a little sloppy in that first game but after that we played a consistent game, passed well, served well. In games two and three, we played well."
Gabby Szachara led the Cougars with nine kills. Brandi Brucato got up 10 digs while Hannah Meadows turned in a solid all-around effort, finishing with 17 assists, six kills and three aces.
"We need all of our girls," Sandomenico said. "It's amazing how in every match we've needed 12 or 13 girls. Whether it's just one or two plays, we still need them. We're getting girls on the court out of necessity, so it's nice to have that kind of confidence in the kids and good depth."
Spanish Springs (19-5, 10-1) returns to the court Tuesday for a 6 p.m. match at Galena.