Truckee volleyball | Season ends in state semifinal | SierraSun.com

Truckee volleyball | Season ends in state semifinal

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

No one was going to beat Faith Lutheran in the Division I-A state volleyball championships.

The Southern Nevada power defeated both of the top teams from the North in three sets in Henderson this past weekend, including Truckee in Friday's state semifinal round, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21.

The Crusaders, who finished runner-up to South Tahoe last year, went on to breeze past the North's top seed, Dayton, 25-13, 25-18, 26-24, in the championship match Saturday. Dayton entered the match 19-0 against the Division I-A and 36-1 overall.

"Faith Lutheran looked like a Division I team," Truckee coach Erika Murphy said. "They looked nothing like anyone we've seen in the Division I-A. They have a real strong program. I'm surprise they lost last season."

Despite Faith Lutheran's physical advantage, as the Crusaders boasted a number of big, powerful hitters, Truckee played the champs tough in each of the three sets.

"We did the best we could with the stuff we could control. Our girls definitely had the effort and desire," Murphy said. "They (the Crusaders) just had so many more weapons."

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The Wolverines did not have an answer for Faith Lutheran's primary weapon, 5-10 junior Cayla Nikodemus, who finished with 20 kills. Murphy said Nikodemus displayed an incredible vertical game as she consistently rose above Truckee's block.

She wasn't Faith's only big hitter, however, as senior Courtney Hansen smashed 15 kills and junior Morgan Hill 12. The Crusaders tallied 50 kills in the match to Truckee's 26.

Truckee senior Mackenzie Redner finished with 10 kills — more than two kills below her season average — while senior Lauren Peak had six kills, Becca Berelson had five and Elizabeth Costa four.

Redner and Peak each posted 13 digs, Redner and Berelson each had three blocks, and senior setter Chelsea Mohun had 23 assists. Peak also had two service aces.

The Wolverines finished the year 20-14 overall and 14-5 against the Division I-A. The team loses five seniors to graduation — Redner, Peak, Mohun, Berelson and Costa.

"Next year will be somewhat of a rebuilding year," Murphy said, "although we do have a lot of height coming up as juniors."