Adrianna Knutson said the transformation of the Reagan volleyball team doesn’t seem so strange anymore.
The Rattlers, Knutson surmised, have finally adapted to being a team that makes its mark with balanced offense, strong defense and serving after being one that relied heavily on two Division I prospects a year ago.
Another not-so-out-of-the-ordinary occurrence happened Friday at Littleton Gym — No. 4 Reagan moved closer to winning another District 26-6A championship, beating No. 5 Churchill 30-28, 27-25, 25-18.
The Rattlers (33-9, 9-1) are in first place, 11/2 games ahead of the Chargers (31-7, 7-2) and No. 8 Johnson (27-10, 7-2). The Rattlers can secure at least a share of the league crown with one more win.
Reagan closes out its district schedule against MacArthur and Lee, while Churchill and Johnson each have three matches left, including one against each other Oct. 24.
“When the game’s coming down, you have to put your best effort out there to get your team the win,” said Reagan freshman Camryn Ennis, who had a match-high 13 kills.
For Reagan, that consisted of an offense that saw three players — Ennis, Elissa Barbosa and Faith Squier — record at least 10 kills, and solid defense paced by Knutson, Marissa Gonzalez and setter Tori Hinojosa, who had 39 assists.
“Our mindset is that nothing hits the floor,” said Knutson, who had a team-best 36 digs. “We just play like that. I enjoy the long rallies because it really shows the character of our team.”
With an opportunity to take a big step toward claiming their ninth league title (shared or outright) in 10 seasons, the Rattlers showed their poise in capturing the first two sets.
Reagan squandered four set points, then fought off two more for Churchill before prevailing. In the second set, the Rattlers rallied from a 15-10 deficit, using a 9-2 run for a 19-17 lead. They eventually led 24-22, but couldn’t capitalize on three set points before scoring the final two points after the frame was tied at 25.
The Rattlers never trailed in the third set against Churchill, which was led by Taylor Martinez’s 10 kills and 31/2 blocks. Ashley Dominguez tallied a match-high 40 digs, and setter Karley York had 33 assists.
“We just like to put all our effort out there and try to do what’s best for our team,” said Ennis, one of two freshman starters. “We’re all like a big family.”
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Photo courtesy of Phil Franzone, Alamo Sports Photography. Click here for more exciting game photos.