Truckee takes thriller over South Tahoe, still unbeaten in league
September 14, 2018
Six games into the league schedule, and the Truckee volleyball team has emerged as the squad to beat in the Class 3A Northern League.
The Lady Wolverines have largely run roughshod over the league to this point, going 6-0 while losing only four sets.
"We have a lot of depth," said Head Coach Erika Murphy on the strength of this year's squad. "It's a good team just like we've have before, but I'm not worried about injuries."
Truckee went 18-13 and 12-4 in Northern League play last season, and reached the state tournament before falling in the semifinals to eventual champion Boulder City.
This year the girls sport a roster consisting solely of upperclassmen, and are led by team captains, senior Ryleigh Hogland and junior Kelly Cross.
"I think we'll be really successful," said Hogland. "We've got all upperclassmen on our team. All of them are coming in from playing two years with the program already. Everyone on our team has played club for the past two years, and I think we're going to be really strong because we've got that cohesion and knowledge of the game."
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BATTLE OF UNBEATENS
Truckee squared off against the league's only other undefeated squad, South Tahoe, on the road on Tuesday, Sept. 11, and in the team's tightest league game of the year, the Wolverines pulled off a 3-2 victory, taking the fifth set 16-14 to secure the victory.
Cross led Truckee with 18 kills, followed by junior Morgan Just with 11. Junior Kaley Settle led Truckee with three blocks, and junior libero Maria Galles recorded a team-high 23 digs to help propel Truckee to the win.
The play of Galles at the libero position has been praised by teammates going into league play as one of several strengths for the team.
"Our passing is unbelievable," said Hogland. "Our libero, Maria Galles, is phenomenal. We've got awesome hitters as well, too many to name. It feels like we don't haves as many weakness as we've had in past years … this year we've got a little bit of everything."
So far that's been the case of the Wolverines, who've seen tremendous play thus far from hitters, Cross (122 kills), Hogland (85 kills), Just (83 kills), Settle (32 kills), and junior Drew Lane (25 kills).
'FOCUSED ON DEFENSE'
While the team's explosive hitting has stood out in the early stages of the season, it's been the defensive side that Cross said Truckee will hang its hat on this year.
"We're focused on defense. Our defense is really strong, and our offense will play off our defense," she said.
"We're improving as a team, and as we grow together we are really going to improve."
Galles and Cross have led Truckee on the defensive side thus far, piling up nearly 200 combined digs.
The Wolverines will look to remain unbeaten in league play when Truckee (9-4, 6-0 Northern League) returns home on Tuesday, Sept. 18, to face Sparks (0-4 Northern League). The match is set for a 6 p.m. start.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com.