Coming off a loss at South Tahoe just two nights before, the Carson High volleyball team came out with two goals in mind Thursday night - to play as a team and to play good defense.
The Senators achieved both goals, and in the process, dug out a straight-set Sierra League victory at home against Wooster. Carson won the match 25-22, 25-21, 25-11 at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
"I thought we played well," Carson coach Shana Wilkins said. "We really picked up our defense from South Tahoe. We dug a lot of balls, which was good. Across the board, everybody dug for us. Tonight was a good team win."
The Senators came up with 91 digs as a team, led by Allison Foltz with 17 and Nicole Carlevato 15.
At the same time, that set the table for Carson's two senior middle blockers - Catherine Brekken, who put down eight kills and six blocks, while Nicole Scott contributed four kills and two blocks.
Carson showed some character at the end of the second game. Wooster rallied from seven points down to tie the score at 21 on a kill by Kortnie Manke, but the Senators didn't flinch.
"We play a quick offense, but when we let the other team slow it down, we don't play as well," Wilkins said. "That's all I told them, that we've got to step it up, get moving and get the job done."
The Senators regained the lead moments later when Lindsay Ford gave a quick set to Scott, who blasted a cross-court shot that went untouched for a point. A diving dig in the back row by Michelle Raponi kept a rally alive and led to an error on the Wooster side to give Carson a 24-21 lead. Then Ford set Brekken in the middle for another kill to close out the game.
Morgan Nuckolls set the tone for the third game when she led off with an ace through the middle of Wooster's defense. Nuckolls hustled for a dig that led to a Wooster error to make it 4-2, and the Senators never looked back. Foltz also had an ace to make it 22-8.
Wooster, which dropped to 3-3 in league, was led statistically by Renee Glenn with six kills, five aces and three digs.
By winning, Carson improved its league record to 4-2 and moved into a third-place tie with Reno in the standings. Carson visits Reno next Tuesday and then opens the league's second round against league-leading Douglas on Thursday in Minden.
"I think we're better than a third-place team," Wilkins said. "We're definitely shooting for 1 or 2, but to do that, we have to climb past Douglas and South Tahoe. The main thing, we want to keep improving every day and this here was a huge improvement."
n Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or 881-1220.