The Truckee volleyball team won both its Division IA road matches this past Friday and Saturday, as they defeated Elko in five games before sweeping past Spring Creek the next day.
The Wolverines, who have now won six straight league contests, improved to 6-1 in league and 12-10 overall. Their only league defeat came against Dayton, which they face for a second time in Dayton next Tuesday.
The Truckee squad held off the Indians at key points Friday to take a 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 20-25, 15-9 win.
“That came down to our mistakes,” Elko coach Cammie Nelson said. “That came down to our miscues and us getting cautious.”
Both teams played well at the net with a lot of hits and both squads getting up a good block repeatedly. As a result, both teams went to using tips regularly to throw defenses off guard.
In the first set, Truckee ran out to an early 11-4 lead before the Indians started to assert themselves. Emilie Morton served an ace and a couple of Truckee miscues cut Elko’s deficit to 11-7, but the Wolverines were able to maintain a five-point lead through most of the set until late.
After a Truckee hitting error, Elko’s Olivia Howe toed the service line to spark a rally. She came up with an ace on her first serve, and Kelsie Gailey came up with a kill on the next ball put into play. Howe’s tip at the net on the next volley cut the Wolverines’ lead to 23-22.
However, a violation by the Tribe and an ensuring spike by Elizabeth Costa put an end to the opening set.
The second game was much of the same script, except Elko completed the rally.
Truckee surged ahead 9-4 in the opening minutes, but the Indians rallied back to take a 12-11 lead. Down the stretch, Josalynn Harris came up with two big stuffs at the net, and Gailey had a hit that ricocheted off blockers and out for a 24-18 lead. Bailey Betancourt’s final serve was never returned at game point.
In the third, The Wolverines once again went out in front early and led 19-8 at one point, but Elko’s Desirea Danner went on a long service run that eventually made it 19-17 before sending her final serve just long.
The Indians made it a one-point game late, but Truckee’s Lauren Peak came up with a tip for a 24-21 lead and had a kill to finish off the set.
Elko surged ahead early in the fourth set and held on late. Harris came up with a key ace to make it 21-17. On game point, Aly Freitag blocked a hit by Costa to force a decisive fifth set.
The Indians could not catch a break in the fifth set. A handful of violations repeatedly killed the momentum and allowed the Wolverines to surge out in front 12-8. They had two hitting errors to give the final two points of the match to the Wolverines.
Truckee senior Mackenzie Redner posted a match-high 26 kills to go along with her two service aces and 26 digs. Peak had 14 kills and 13 digs, and Chelsea Mohun had 44 assists and and 11 digs, and Kari Murphy had 10 digs. Costa added four kills and Taylor Stevens two.
Gailey finished with 20 kills and 23 digs for Elko, while Marissa Elquist had 13 kills. Danner tallied 53 digs. Howe and Morton dished out 25 and 16 assists, respectively.
The Indians, who defeated Sparks on Saturday, are 4-2 in league and 16-8 overall.
Against the Spartans, Truckee used depth, skill and size to its advantage throughout the match, rarely trailing in the 25-18, 25-18, 25-10 victory.
“Truckee’s just a really athletic, agile team,” said Spring Creek coach Jorge Zataray, whose team fell to 0-4 in league and 4-7 overall. “They’re very tall, and we’re small.”
The Wolverines’ middle hitters controlled the match at times at the net, forcing the Lady Spartans to scramble with repeated blocks, often notching several per volley.
Redner led the Truckee attack with 18 kills, three aces and 12 digs. Peak finished with fives aces and two kills, and Mohun had 22 assists and six digs.
Truckee plays at South Tahoe on Friday and at Dayton on Tuesday for the start of the second round of league.
— Martin Harris and Blake Samanas of the Elko Daily Free Press contributed to this report.