Truckee volleyball | Wolverines fall to Crusaders in state semi | SierraSun.com

Truckee volleyball | Wolverines fall to Crusaders in state semi

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

The Truckee volleyball team played into the Division I-A state championship tournament, losing in the semifinal round to back-to-back state champion Faith Lutheran.

Barring a highly improbable upset, Faith Lutheran was not going to be defeated in the Division I-A state championship in Reno this past Friday and Saturday.

The top-seeded Crusaders defeated Truckee in straight sets, 25-12, 25-14, 25-19, in the state semifinal round before sweeping past Sierra Vista, 25-14, 25-8, 25-12, to earn their second straight title.

Faith Lutheran, which defeated Dayton in straight sets in last year's state championship, did not lose a single set in league play this season en route to a perfect 14-0 record.

The Wolverines, meanwhile, overachieved with their talented young group of players. They upset Lowry in the regional semifinal round the previous week and nearly upset Elko, the top Northern seed, in the regional championship. Elko also lost in the state semifinal, falling in five sets to second-seeded Sierra Vista.

"It has been a great season with this group. They progressed well and I expect great things next year," said Truckee coach Erika Murphy, whose Wolverines made their eighth state tournament appearance. "I think that reflects our program and community strength when we show back up there — even when most teams are not expecting us."

Murphy said many of the Truckee players stuck around after their match to watch Elko struggle with the same jitters as the Wolverines. Despite the fact that the Indians' lost, seeing Elko overcome those jitters in the third and fourth sets fueled the young Truckee team for next year, she said.

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Truckee finished the year 18-15 overall. The Wolverines will return eight players next season while losing four seniors to graduation — Kari Murphy, Taylor Stevens, Tori Simpson and Katherine Englert.

In the Division III, Truckee's former volleyball rival, Yerington, defeated White Pine in straight sets, 25-15, 26-24, 25-12, to earn back-to-back titles, and four in the past five years.