Incline volleyball falls in tournament semfinals | SierraSun.com

Incline volleyball falls in tournament semfinals

Incline volleyball's run in the regional tournament fell a game short of reaching a state tournament bid on Saturday, Nov. 4, after a 3-1 loss to White Pine in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A Northern Region semifinal.

Still, it was a successful year for the Highlanders, with the girls finishing at 20-9 overall for one of the better seasons by an Incline team in recent years.

"The girls were phenomenal and I couldn't be more proud of their effort on Friday and Saturday," said Head Coach Tim Kelly in an email to the Sun. "They are a great group of young ladies that work extremely hard. Most importantly they are a lot of fun to coach, and it's a year I will never forget."

After an 11-3 record in Northern League play this year, the Highlanders entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, and made quick work of No. 6 seed Battle Mountain to set up a match against No. 2 seed White Pine. The Bobcats and Highlanders split their two regular season meetings.

Incline took control of the opening set behind a strong effort on the defensive side, while the play of second team, all-league senior Madeleine Saxe and first team, all-league senior Ellyse Kirkland on offense keyed a 25-14 victory.

White Pine then regained momentum in the second set to capture a 25-17 win to even the match.

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After getting down in the third game, the Highlanders rallied back to make it a 23-23 tie, but White Pine took the next two points to capture the set and a 2-1 lead.

The Bobcats would go on to advance to the championship match after taking the fourth game, 3-1. Yerington would then defeat White Pine in straight sets to capture this season's Northern League title.

Incline will lose five seniors from their roster, including all-league players Kirkland and Saxe, and also honorable mention Madison Cronk. The team will also lose middle hitter Alexis Krolick and libero Leslie Medina.

"They represented IHS volleyball like champions and many girls younger than them, from juniors to middle-schoolers watched them in awe," said Kelly.

"We will miss those ladies in a gigantic way but we are excited about our future. Juniors Chandler Cohn and Alyssa Fellows will step in perfectly at outside hitter position and libero spots. Those two, along with sophomores Michaela Racich and Olivia Schneider, will be more than ready."

The Highlanders junior varsity squad should also help fill in next year after finishing the season with a 22-8 record. The team's only league losses came against White Pine.