Boulder City takes 3-1 win over Truckee in finals to repeat as Class 3A state champions
After an 18-0 run through Northern League play and a regional championship, the Truckee volleyball team came up just shy of their ultimate goal, falling in the finals of the Class 3A state tournament last Saturday against defending champions Boulder City.
The Lady Wolverines engaged in a hard-fought battle for this year’s state championship at Bishop Manogue High School in Reno, fighting back from a 2-0 deficit to force a fourth set.
The hitting, blocking, and passing of the Eagles led to an early advantage in the fourth frame, and, ultimately, a 25-18 win in the set for the program’s second straight state championship.
“It’s been a long road,” said Boulder City Head Coach Kurt Bailey. “We were expected to be here since we won it last year and had a bunch of players coming back.”
Like the Wolverines, the Eagles dominated their opposition throughout the season, going undefeated in league play on the way to capturing the regional and state championship.
On Saturday, Boulder City put Truckee in a 2-0 hole, winning the first two sets 25-17, 25-18. The Eagles lineup featured five players 5 feet, 10 inches or taller, making for a difficult afternoon for the Wolverines’ hitters.
“I don’t think we’ve faced as many good blocking teams this season, and so they got us a little frustrated,” said senior captain Ryleigh Hogland. “They also came out with a lot of energy.
“In general, they were excited, dancing, it’s the same thing that happened last year. They just came out stronger than us from the start, and it’s hard to catch up after that.”
Truckee fell 3-2 to Boulder City in the semifinals of last year’s state tournament.
After falling behind in Saturday’s match, Truckee Head Coach Erika Murphy adjusted the team’s approach on offense going into the third set, resulting in a 25-21 win to get back in the match.
“The adjustments she made in the third were really good,” said Bailey, who countered in the fourth set to win 25-18, and take this year’s state title. “Our passing was the key, because it kind of failed us there in the third set. We have some players that are pretty good at the net but our passing was the key.”
Truckee junior Kelly Cross was terrific all afternoon, leading the Wolverines with 13 kills and finishing the afternoon with 12 digs. Hogland was next for Truckee with 10 kills, 12 assists and a team-high five aces.
“Obviously I’m disappointed, because I feel like if we came out stronger in the first couple of games, we could’ve taken them,” said Hogland. “Boulder City was strong last year, they took us out last year, they’re a good team, and they play great volleyball. I’m really glad we got to play them again.”
Junior Maria Galles led Truckee with 14 digs, and Junior Quinn Kirschner led the team with 26 assists.
The Wolverines finish the year with a 30-5 overall record, and were led by Cross with 354 kills and 107 aces, followed by Hogland with 234 kills, junior Morgan Just with 155 kills, and junior Kaley Settle with 128 kills. Galles led Truckee on the year with 289 digs, and Kirschner posted a team-high 563 assists.
“I appreciate people coming out and supporting us, I appreciate all of the Truckee people coming out,” said Murphy. “The seniors did such a great job providing depth. Not all of them were starters, but they were role models as athletes and students.”
Both Truckee and Boulder City will return the majority of the programs’ key players for next season.
“I think (Boulder City) will be back here next year,” said Murphy. “And I think we’ll be back, battling this out again.”
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.