Incline volleyball | Highlanders earn state championship berth | SierraSun.com

Incline volleyball | Highlanders earn state championship berth

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

The Highlanders jump for joy. Incline defeated Pershing County in a regional semifinal battle Saturday to advance to the state championship tournament.

The Incline and Pershing County volleyball teams tangled twice before their Northern Division III regional semifinal in Fernley on Saturday — and nothing was decided.

This time, after splitting their regular-season matches 3-1 apiece, the third-seeded Highlanders pulled off a clutch, hard-fought victory in five sets to advance to the regional title match and clinch a state championship berth.

The Highlanders edged the Mustangs 25-14, 25-27, 27-25, 21-25, 15-13.

"The team has peaked at the right time. They are on fire," said Incline coach Tacy Kelly. "It's the toughest metal team I have had in long time. I'm really proud of how they evolved as a whole team."

Physically and emotionally spent from their big win, Incline went on to lose the regional championship match in straight sets against top-seeded Yerington, which will join the Highlanders in the state tournament at Wooster and Galena high schools this Friday and Saturday.

Incline will open with a state semifinal against White Pine, the South's No. 1 seed, at Wooster on Friday at 3 p.m. Yerington will face the No. 2 Southern seed, The Meadows, at 4:40 p.m.

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Winners clash for the Division III state title at Galena on Saturday at noon.

Junior middle blocker Kira Porter helped lift the Highlanders to victory over the tough Pershing County squad. Porter finished with a match-high 28 kills to go along with her eight blocks, 11 digs and two service aces.

Senior setter Megan Golden tallied 45 assists and two aces for the Highlanders, while Taylor Binney had 10 kills, Keegan Wells had seven kills, Mia Bibs had four kills and four blocks, and Sophie Shorin had 10 digs. Michelle Tokunaga contributed nine digs and two aces, and Hadyne Schuft had five digs.

Incline will carry an 11-7 record overall into the state tournament. Yerington is 34-2, White Pine 25-6 and The Meadows 17-12. Yerington won state last year, as well as 2010 and 2011.

Division III state championship

Friday, Wooster High School

Yerington (No. 1 North) vs. The Meadows (No. 2 South), 4:40 p.m.

White Pine (No. 1 South) vs. Incline (No. 2 North), 3 p.m.

Saturday, Galena High School

DIII title match, noon