RENO – The race for the High Desert League title is going to come down to the final night of the regular season.
Spanish Springs could have closed out the league title with a win at Reno on Tuesday night. The Huskies had other ideas.
Reno dropped the first set, and trailed 17-8 in the second, before storming back to hand the Cougars their third league loss of the season 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-19. The Huskies secured the regular-season sweep of the Cougars with the victory, also winning in four at Spanish Springs a few weeks ago.
“They’re good,” Spanish Springs coach Frank Sandomenico said. “We were up 15-7 (during a timeout in the second set) and I said ‘hey, we’re not going to win this game 25-7. They’re going to have momentum runs and we have to find a way to push through that.’ I kind of foreshadowed that. We just didn’t do it.”
The Cougars (30-6, 12-3) still control their own destiny for the HDL No. 1 seed. A win at Reed on Wednesday night will give them the league title. The Raiders (7-15, 5-10) are locked into the league’s fourth seed.
Reno (16-5, 10-4) moved into a tie with McQueen (18-11, 10-4) for second place. The two teams end the season against each other on Wednesday at McQueen. McQueen won the first meeting.
The Huskies will claim the league crown with a win and a Spanish Springs loss to Reed. However, a McQueen win paired with a Spanish Springs loss gives the league title to the Cougs. Spanish Springs owns the head-to-head tiebreaker due to a sweep of the Lancers this season.
In the loss to the Huskies on Tuesday, Spanish Springs did not have an answer for Reno’s tandem of Kaitlyn Biassou or Parker Buddy. Biassou put down 18 kills and didn’t even lead the team. Buddy set a career high with 19.
“You just have to dig the ball and then terminate it when you get the chance, otherwise they (Biassou or Buddy) are going to terminate it,” Sandomenico said.
With the 17-8 lead in what turned out to be the decisive second set, Spanish Springs committed five straight errors to kick start a 9-0 Reno run that allowed the hosts to draw even. The sixth and final tie of the set, 24-24, preceded two-straight Spanish Springs errors that gave Reno the 26-24 win.
The run swung momentum to Reno’s bench and it never left as the Huskies cruised in the final two sets of the night.
Emily Moore led Spanish Springs with 18 kills. Mackenzie O’Connell passed out 34 assists.
“We just have to push past it and take care of business tomorrow,” Sandomencio said. “I’m glad we don’t have a day off. I’m glad we just go play.”