AP NEWS

Rattlers rally past Chargers, keep win streak intact

September 12, 2018

If Reagan senior Paige Day had her way, volleyball matches would be stress free. The Rattlers would breeze through an opponent, taking little time and effort to secure another win.

But as Day and her teammates discovered Tuesday, sometimes having to dig deep has its benefits.

No. 3 Reagan outlasted No. 2 Churchill 25-27, 25-20, 27-29, 25-20, 15-13 in a two-hour seesaw District 27-6A encounter at Littleton Gym.

The Rattlers (22-7, 2-0) won their 28th straight league match dating back to the 2015 season.

“I think it challenges us and make us work harder when we go four or five sets and have to keep battling it out and show what we have and push through to win,” Day said. “They’re a really good team, so it was definitely a challenge for us tonight, but I think we did great and stepped it up.”

Despite having a new coach (Rachel Torvik) and returning only six players from a team that was ranked No. 1 nationally for much of last season, the Rattlers displayed resolve beyond their years.

In the decisive fifth set, Reagan bounced back after squandering a 13-11 advantage by recording two points to prevail.

“It’s definitely a big change because we lost 12 really good seniors,” Day said. “We’re such a young team that there was definitely a lot of doubt in people’s minds, but I think we’re going to shock people with how we do this year. We’re just going to keep going from here.”

Churchill (22-7, 1-1), which was the last team to defeat Reagan in district play, appeared poised to accomplish the feat again after building a 2-1 lead in a thrilling third set.

Paced by the blocking of Isabel Fichtel and Julia Aleman — each had seven total blocks — the Chargers led 24-19 and were a point from winning the frame. Reagan, though, scored six straight, erasing five set points, before Churchill prevailed as Deziree Flowers had a kill and a block on consecutive plays.

But it was all Reagan after that as it battled back from an early deficit in the fourth frame behind the play of Lylah Washington and Raelee Allen. Washington had a match-high 25 kills.

tthomas@express-news.net

Twitter: @en_terrence

AP RADIO
Update hourly