Despite losing season, volleyball team is building for tomorrow | SierraSun.com
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Despite losing season, volleyball team is building for tomorrow

JAMES BALL

Most of us didn’t notice that on a cold, wet Saturday the Tahoe-Truckee High School volleyball team’s season came to an end.

It ended much as it began; with a word head coach Maggie Shane used constantly throughout the season: “flat.”

While the football team continued its winning streak and the soccer teams easily shut down division opponents, the volleyball team went out with a whimper, rather than with a bang, ending a disappointing 2-14 season.

But there was some heart there.

“The girls came out absolutely incredible,” Shane said.

Near the start of the first game, Truckee led Fernley by three points and played to 14-14, but lost 16-14 on two fluke Fernley shots.

“We made Fernley nervous,” Shane said.

Truckee would fall 15-11 in the final game against Fernley, sending the Wolverines to the losing bracket to play North Tahoe.

Truckee lost 15-6, 15-2, its spirits crushed.

Truckee had come out at every game this season pumped and ready to play, despite its record and the odds against winning.

The team practiced hard, played hard and often hit the floor hard, but in every compeition, someone must lose.

Sometimes a certain team, whether through mental blocks or pure, bad luck, loses more than the others.

What really matters is how that team deals with it.

Shane and her crew have been looking to next season since the beginning of this one. Time after time, she was patient with a team which has a lot of potential.

So what is to blame in a town which excels in football, soccer, baseball and skiing?

Feeder programs.

The football players start young here. Pop Warner gets them into a program and learning the fundamentals at incredibly tender ages.

Little League draws hundreds from Truckee. AYSO soccer may be the biggest success story of them all.

More than 1,000 kids in a town with an official population of less than 10,000 take to the soccer fields each summer, and all I can is say is that I’m impressed.

With Olympians in the coaching ranks, youth ski programs in Truckee are a model for others in the nation.

So why no youth volleyball program?

There is adult volleyball, which is popular enough. In Truckee, it starts at the middle school level, giving players considerably less time to learn the fundamentals.

It’s something to think about and, I don’t know many parents who think there’s too many things for kids to do around here.

One more activity, one more alternative for exercise and teamwork skill-building could only help.

By the way, the volleyball team should be proud. Jennifer Marks made all-league first team, while Nancy Brewer and Jasmine Eisenberg made the second team.

“Jennifer has exceptional passing; she passes almost every ball served,” Shane said. “And she has a lot of consistency as a player.”

And with Eisenberg only a sophomore, the future looks bright.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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