North Tahoe volleyball | Young Lakers use tournament as learning experience |

North Tahoe volleyball | Young Lakers use tournament as learning experience

Courtesy Michael MichaelsenFrom left to right, North Tahoeand#8217;s Tilley Gibeaut (4), Taylor Briggs (21), Jordan Briggs (5) and Helana Kearns (8) compete in the Lowry Tournament this past weekend. All but Taylor Briggs are freshmen starters.

First-year North Tahoe volleyball coach Mike Welch was pleased with his young teamand#8217;s performance in the season-opening Lowry Tournament this past weekend, where the Lakers went 0-5 against mostly larger Division I-A opponents.

The Lakers fell in two sets to Fernley, Lowry and Middleton (Idaho) on Friday, and Spring Creek and Battle Mountain on Saturday. The team, whose 17-player roster includes nine freshmen and#8212; while only five players have ever played high school volleyball before and#8212; came away with priceless experience competing against quality programs, Welch said.

and#8220;The Lowry Tournament was an opportunity for our team to learn a lot about ourselves and our team,and#8221; the coach said. and#8220;The youthful energy was exciting and promising. It was also meant there were nerves to overcome and roles to be defined with the rigors of competition.and#8221;

Welch said the Lakersand#8217; serving was a definite strength for the team. Freshman Jordan Briggs led the charge with eight aces on only 22 serves. Junior Taylor Briggs followed up with five aces on only 15 serves.

and#8220;We were able to break games open with our tough serving from many of our rotations. This will be a great scoring mechanism for our team this season,and#8221; Welch said.

The coach said North Tahoe received court leadership from Taylor Briggs and senior Kylie Willson, both of whom also played critical roles in leading and stabilizing the Lakersand#8217; serve-receive passing.

Both North Tahoe setters, Willson and freshman Tilley Gibeaut, are new to the position, but both worked hard and improved over the weekend, Welch said. The coach added that his team statistically under-performed on offense, leaving room for improvement on its attack.

and#8220;We saw flashes of brilliance throughout the weekend,and#8221; Welch said. and#8220;Our inexperience also allowed our opponents to sneak away from us at times. We feel confident that the growth this group can obtain will be dramatic with each coming week of practice and competitions. North Tahoe will be a much different team each week as we progress.and#8221;

Welch said his varsity and JV rosters will be set in time for a Wednesday match at Silver Stage.

The Lakers will host the North Tahoe Classic this weekend. The tournament is a round-robin format, with both varsity and JV teams. Local teams besides North Tahoe will include Truckee JV and Incline JV. There will also be teams from Napa (Vintage High) and Dixon.

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