Vikings can’t climb out of early hole
South Tahoe High knew it had its work cut out when Douglas came calling Thursday night in the Vikings final home game of the regular season. But STHS didn’t rise to the challenge as the Tigers swept the Vikings in three games, 9-15, 11-15, 8-15.
Douglas continued to pound the ball at South Tahoe, not allowing the Vikings to get many digs.
“You can’t win without getting any sideouts,” Viking coach Gary Hankoff said. “We just dug ourselves a 12-point hole and had a hard time getting out of it.”
The Vikings went down 13-2 in the first game before working back to 8-15 in the defeat.
“They gave away a lot of points early,” Tiger coach Scott Akimoto said. “Then they’d score 10 or 11 points and I said, ‘OK, here we go.'”
But the deficits proved to be too much for the home team to overcome as the Tigers stopped rally after rally in each of the three games.
Douglas was led by the strong play of Emily Haas, who had three digs, eight kills and two blocks; Andrea Honer added seven digs and two aces; and Jamie McCleary had two digs, one block and three aces.
“Our passing and defense are working really well right now,” Akimoto said. “Everything is starting to come around.”
The Vikings played strong defense as well, but were unable to overcome early mistakes. Rachel Hankoff led the Viking charge with 12 kills and perfect serving. Jessica Urreaga set up the offense with 11 assists.
“Our defense and transitions were working well,” Hankoff said. “It was the unforced errors that killed us tonight.”
In the final game, the Vikings gave the Tigers a run, at one point only trailing 9-8. But Douglas turned up the heat and finished out the game with six straight points.
“South Tahoe is a good team,” Akimoto said. “They’re scrappy and gave a good run at the end there.”
Next up for the Vikings is a trip to Wooster on Tuesday where the two teams will continue to battle it out for the fourth-and-final playoff spot. Currently the two squads are tied for the last spot.
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