Lakers spike Incline on senior farewell
Though the air in the gym was bittersweet for graduating seniors, the North Tahoe volleyball team held strong down the stretch to pull off a home win over Incline in the final match of the regular season Tuesday.
Led by a commanding performance by senior Laura Hansen, North Tahoe won the non-league match in five games.
North Tahoe took the first game with consistent passing and the first of 21 kills for Hansen. Incline was slow to warm up and made mistakes that kept the ball in Laker control.
Charging back, Incline won the second game. Incline senior Holly O’Connor stood out at the net with key blocks and a few of her 15 kills.
The lead swung again as the Lakers squeaked out a win in the third game. Senior Haley Burmer had several solid kills.
Like clockwork, Incline woke up and won the fourth game. Incline junior Sara Norris stepped up with a barrage of kills and the Incline girls showed tenacity fending off a rally from North Tahoe that would have ended the match.
The fifth and deciding game started with a rally from North Tahoe. Hansen continued to dominate along with junior Kelly Hester, who was on her way to 38 assists. The North Tahoe assault at the net was too much for Incline’s blockers to handle, and with a final Hansen kill, North Tahoe won the hard-fought match.
Incline coach Heidi Graeber took the loss in stride.
“We played a bit inconsistent, but because we went to five games I was able to experiment with a couple new lineups,” Graeber said. “I tweaked the middles and outsides, but we didn’t adjust well.”
North Tahoe coach Tom LeFevers was pleased with the win.
“We played tough as a team and communicated well,” LeFevers said. “Great for the seniors to win their last home game.”
Hansen was also thrilled with her team’s final performance before the postseason.
“All of us fought together,” Hansen said. “We had heart.”
North Tahoe finished the season with a 7-3 Northern 2A record and 19-9 overall. The win against Incline served as a key tune-up for the Lakers, as they face Pershing County (Lovelock) on Saturday in the Northern 2A Volleyball Championship.
“Tonight’s game helped motivate me for zones,” Hansen said. “I need to get aggressive and really crank back on the ball. Have no fear.”
Incline moves on to the 3A zone tournament Saturday in Truckee.
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