North Tahoe volleyball entering regionals as No. 2 seed | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe volleyball entering regionals as No. 2 seed

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

The name Whittell is synonymous with success in the world of 2A volleyball. It’s a well-earned reputation, too, as the Warriors enter the postseason Friday with sights set on a sixth consecutive Nevada State Championships, and 11th overall.

North Tahoe’s move from the 3A to the 2A in 2007 created a formidable hurdle, never mind its first-round loss to Needles in last year’s State Championship tournament.

Historically, the Lakers have been a force to be reckoned with, evidenced by their four state titles. They’d like to add a fifth in 2008, and their regular-season prowess suggests the goal is well within reason.

“We look great,” said North Tahoe head coach Tom LeFevers, who was voted Co-Coach of the Year last season. “Our match (Tuesday at Pershing County) was a godsend. We got to play a tough match against a very good team. I think it helped hone our skills.”

That skill has been on display since Day 1, as the Lakers opened league play with wins against Incline (the No. 3 seed) and Whittell (the No. 1 seed) before dropping a contest at Battle Mountain and losing their second match against Whittell in four games.

North Tahoe finished 10-2 in league play, having swept Incline and Pershing County, which enters playoffs as the No. 4 seed.

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In the Lakers’ most recent win at Pershing County ” a come-from-behind victory in five games ” senior Kayla Baumgardner established her dominance at the net by smashing a match-high 23 kills. She also rattled off seven straight serves at one point, while fellow senior Kelly Hester keyed the Lakers’ comeback with nine straight serves in the pivotal third game.

As if it’s not difficult enough to contain Baumgardner and Hester, the Lakers also boast strong leadership and talent in seniors Sydney Courcier and Arielle Younger, among other impact players.

They’ll all need to be on their game in Friday’s postseason opener to get past Incline, a team that played North Tahoe tough on Oct. 14 before the Lakers prevailed in five games.

“We’re very evenly matched,” LeFevers said of the Lakers and Highlanders, who square off at 4:45 p.m.

Whittell takes on Pershing County in the other first-round match Friday at 3 p.m. The winners meet at 6 p.m. for the Northern 2A championship and No. 1 seed entering State. Both advance.

In the past, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) has typically given the regular-season champions home-court advantage in the regional tournament. But not this year, as Pershing County (also called Lovelock) was selected to host.