Truckee volleyball | Wolverines upset Lowry, advance to state | SierraSun.com

Truckee volleyball | Wolverines upset Lowry, advance to state

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

A couple of weeks ago, the young Wolverines were fighting just to earn a postseason berth. And then they caught fire.

After powering out of the regular season to earn the No. 3 seed in the Northern Division I-A regional tournament, the Truckee volleyball team knocked off second-seeded host Lowry in four sets in the semifinal round Saturday, then nearly upset top-seeded Elko in a five-set thriller.

"We almost had the full Cinderella story of walking into zones at third and coming out first. We just couldn't clinch the fifth set against Elko," said Truckee coach Erika Murphy, whose Wolverines will look to earn the school's fourth state volleyball title this weekend in Reno.

Before receiving a shot at Elko in the regional championship, Truckee had to get past a tough Lowry squad that had the benefit of a home crowd.

The Buckaroos, who posted a 14-2 league record and were the only team in league to defeat Elko (15-1), took the first set, 25-20.

The Wolverines (12-4) were down but far from out. They proceeded to win the next three sets, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19, to advance to the regional final and punch their ticket to the state championship tournament.

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"That's a big deal with a young team," Murphy said. "Perseverance."

The Wolverines used a well-rounded team effort to pull off the victory. They smashed 44 kills in the match, with sophomore Maia Dvoracek leading the way with 14 kills and junior Anais Fay finishing with 10. Senior Taylor Stevens posted nine kills, Madison Haley had seven and Katie Fisher three.

Dvoracek added 23 digs, 20 assists and two service aces. Lauren Anderson contributed four aces and Fisher had two, while Fay had four blocks and Haley two blocks. Sophomore setter Shelby Gendreau tallied a team-high 24 assists. Fisher had 22 digs, Fay 15 digs, Stevens 13 and Haley 10.

With momentum and a growing confidence on their side, the Wolverines pushed the Indians to five sets before falling just three points short. Truckee took the first set 29-27 before Elko bounced back to win the next two, 25-12, 25-17. Truckee won the fourth set 25-22 to set up a deciding fifth game, which is played to 15 points instead of 25.

The upset was within reach as Truckee built a 12-9 lead. But a lost serve followed by a handful of mistakes allowed the Indians to finish off the pesky Wolverines, 15-12.

"That's kinda the story of our hot and cold matches this season," Murphy said. "However, we are going to state with two sophomores running our court and definitely keeping us in the hunt."

Dvoracek led the Wolverines with 18 kills, three aces, two blocks, 14 digs and 20 assists, while Fay had six kills, seven blocks, 12 digs and two aces.

Anderson finished with eight kills and Fisher six, Gendreau had three aces and 23 assists, and Haley had three blocks. Fisher added 14 digs and Anderson had 11.

As the No. 2 Northern seed in the Division I-A state championship, Truckee (18-14 overall) will have to be on its game to advance past the semifinal round against top-seeded Faith Lutheran (26-13), whose coach flew to Winnemucca to scout the Northern regional tournament.

On the other side of the state bracket, Elko will face Sierra Vista, the No. 2 Southern seed. Winners meet for the state championship Saturday at 10 a.m. All Division I-A games will be contested at Galena High School.

Division I-A state championship

Semifinal round, Friday

Elko (No. 1 Northern) vs. Sierra Vista (No. 2 Southern), 4:40 p.m.

Faith Lutheran (No. 1 Southern) vs. Truckee (No. 2 Northern), 3 p.m.

State championship, Saturday

Semifinal winners, 10 a.m.

— All Division I-A matches at Galena High School.