The Lancers and Cougars met up for the first time on the season, not knowing what to expect from another. The Lancers got the better end of the deal, winning three out of four 25-17, 25-14, 23-25, 25-19.
“It was a good win,” McQueen coach Jeff Zimmerman said. “We hadn't seen Spanish Springs all season. I've heard Frank Sandomenico has been doing a great job. We didn't know what we were going to see.”
The Lancers (9-7, 4-2 High Desert League) started off strong against the Cougars, who didn't seem to be playing consistent and controlled volleyball. SSHS was looking at a 9-7 deficit to the home team, which rapidly grew into a 14-8 deficit before Sandomenico called a timeout. However, things didn't improve for the Cougars as they went on to lose by the eight-point margin.
McQueen took the momentum into Game 2, frustrating and dominating the Cougars, 25-14. Spanish Springs hung in early, tying the game at 9-9. The Lancers went ahead 11-10 when Kristin Ripa served the ball out of bounds. Spanish Springs, which only trailed by one, suddenly saw McQueen's lead extend to 16-10 and it was forced into another timeout. After the break, McQueen forced SSHS to hit three balls out of bounds en route to grabbing a 20-10 edge.
The Cougars (20-10, 4-2 HDL) tried to make a comeback, going on a small 4-1 run before losing control of the ball for the last time at 21-14. McQueen then scored four straight for the Game 2 win.
Game 3 showed vast improvements for the Cougars. They trailed 9-5 but went on a 5-2 run to tie things up at 11. They led 14-12 but McQueen battled back to take a 21-18 advantage. The Cougars wouldn't go away quietly. Ripa served up five straight points and a 23-21 lead. McQueen tied things up at 23 but Ashley Collier tipped in a point to a McQueen defensive hole and an ace from Meckel Corbridge made up the final two points of the game as the Cougs extended the match to four games.
“Our passing was a lot better and we got some momentum going,” Sandomenico said.
The Cougars had the momentum early in Game 4, leading 8-5, but the talented Lancers squad fought back and pulled into a 9-9 deadlock. The squads battled back and forth but the Lancers came out on top. They closed out the game on a 7-2 run to win the final game and match 25-19.
SSHS spikers were disappointed about the loss.
“We have a lot of mental and emotional issues we need to get over,” first year coach Frank Sandomenico said. “We're not sticking it out as a team.”
Danielle Beebe played a team game, posting 10 assists along with 4 digs and 7 kills. Ripa had 9 assists and 7 digs.
Spanish Springs starts the second half of league play against Reno on Thursday in a battle for playoff position. The Reno Huskies lead the league with Spanish Springs and McQueen nipping at their heels.