Truckee volleyball qualifies for state | SierraSun.com

Truckee volleyball qualifies for state

Steve Ranson
Lahontan Valley News

Jordan Brown (3) sets the ball up for Truckee teammate Emma Costa.

Truckee volleyball coach Erika Murphy turned around after her team's win in the fourth set of the finals at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A North Regional Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 4, grinned and flashed thumbs up to the Wolverines' fans.

Her prediction, however, fell short.

Lowry, the No. 2 seeded team in the tournament, relied on their play at the net and outside hitting to take the fifth and final set, 15-4, against the No. 1 seeded team, Truckee, at Fallon's Elmo Dericco Gymnasium. The Lady Bucks won the first two sets before Truckee tied the championship match by dominating the next two games.

Murphy was disappointed yet upbeat.

"We had our ups and downs and swings and it happens during the matches," said the veteran Truckee coach. "But I still think state will be interesting, and we'll play Boulder City first."

Truckee, the defending Class 3A state champs, will play the Southern Region's No. 1 Eagles on Friday at 5:40 p.m. Lowry faces No. 2 Moapa Valley in the other match at 7:30 p.m. Both matches are being played at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas.

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Going into the weekend tournament, Murphy said any of the six teams playing in Fallon had a chance of advancing to state, but when the final match began, it soon became a classic battle between the top two teams in the Northern 3A. Truckee advanced to the finals with a three-set sweep against Elko, and Lowry defeated Fernley, also in three sets, to set up the title match.

"Our girls played well together, stepped up and played when they had to," Murphy said.

Lowry coach Brandon Eastman agreed, noting the Lady Bucks and Truckee split their season games with each team winning at home.

"It's been a goal all year," said Eastman of Lowry's league championship. "First, our goal was to win the regular season. And there was a three-way tie for first, and we were the No. 2 seed and got a bye. We knew today would be tough; we knew the weapons they had. Truckee's a tough team."

After Truckee tied the match 25-16 in the fourth set, momentum appeared to be shifting Truckee's way. The Wolverines also won the third set, 25-20. The chance to win the final set didn't happen, though, as Lowry won by 11 points.

Three forced errors from Truckee allowed Lowry to take a 3-0 lead before the Wolverines scored on Ryleigh Hogland's kill. Lowry responded with a kill from Julianne Montero, a kill from teammate Alyssa Kuskie, and a return from Montero that fell on the court before the second row.

After that, Lowry surged ahead on a 9-2 run to win their first league championship in 11 seasons. Outside hitter Kyllie Sappington, who dominated the outside position during the first two sets, recorded a pair of kills for Lowry, and the Lady Bucks scored the final points.

Eastman said the match was intense from the first set.

"We executed extremely well and didn't make too many errors," he said.