Douglas wins an epic vs. STHS |

Douglas wins an epic vs. STHS

Jeremy Evans

Although it will officially go down as an ‘L’ in the league standings, South Tahoe High’s five-game loss to Douglas on Thursday just might be the shot of confidence the Vikings needed.

“They have really been trying to trust every single player on the team,” said first-year STHS coach Sarah Poulack. “They finally did that tonight. To know that we won two really good games, we’re going to go a lot further this season because we have that confidence now.”

In a back-and-forth match, Douglas won the first game, lost the next two but eventually pulled out a 25-16, 24-26, 14-25, 25-21, 21-19 Sierra League victory at STHS. The match lasted 2 hours, 10 minutes and improved the Tigers’ league record to 3-1. The Vikings fell to 1-3.

“We had a good start, then we let down,” said first-year DHS coach Jorge Urbina. “In the fourth game, they started playing like they know how. It’s a matter of them believing they can do it and knowing it’s not over until one team wins three games. It was an intense game.”

Christina Baghdikian led South Tahoe with 19 kills and had 54 serve/receives, which allowed South Tahoe to runs it offense efficiently. Because when the Vikings were organized, they proved difficult to score on.

Several unforced errors led to Douglas’ victory in the first game, but South Tahoe settled down in the second game. Trailing 22-23, Baghdikian recorded three consecutive points and led the Vikings to a two-point win.

In the third game, South Tahoe scored 10 of the first 11 points and never trailed by less than eight points the rest of the way. Leading 23-14, two of Chelsea Madsen’s five kills in the match sealed the 25-14 win.

The fourth game was highlighted by 11 ties and four lead changes, but it was Douglas who gained the final momentum swing. Tied 20-20, Douglas scored three of its final five points off errors as South Tahoe couldn’t get a sideout.

The fifth game was more of the same, with neither team getting too far ahead of the other. Back-to-back aces from Shaylene McLaughlin put the Vikings up 7-4, though Douglas eventually tied it at 7. Neither team led by more than a point after that.

Tied 19-19, the Tigers went up 20-19 after a rally that lasted almost two minutes. Alex Risko’s kill on the ensuing play clinched the Tigers’ 21-19 victory.

“That’s what volleyball is about, you win and you lose,” Poulack said. “I love to see my girls play hard and walk away with no regrets. Douglas is one of the tougher teams in our league and I was very proud of them for not giving up, and also our girls for not giving up.

“I am happy that Douglas brought the game to us. I would much rather lose a good game like this than lose because we didn’t have things going.”

Leanne DeBella had nine kills and Madsen added five kills and 12 digs for the Vikings (5-9). Hillary Santana led the defensive effort with 43 digs, while Baghdikian had 39 kills. Carolina Baghdikian was a force at the net, recording seven blocks.

South Tahoe plays at Carson and North Valleys next week.

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