Defending league champs return with stacked lineup | SierraSun.com

Defending league champs return with stacked lineup

The defending Class 3A Northern League champions returned to the court Wednesday night for their league opener against Sparks.

Led by a deep group of seniors, the Truckee volleyball team came out sharp on the road, handing the Railroaders a 25-3 loss to open the match before cruising to victory in straight sets.

“The team really looks cohesive this year,” said Head Coach Erika Murphy. “Everybody is really comfortable being flexible in positions, but also knowing their spot on the team — where they’re most needed.”

After winning the league title last year and reaching the state championship match, the Wolverines come into this season with 11 senior players, including last year’s league MVP Kelly Cross.

Cross, who was also a first team all-state selection, led Truckee in kills and aces last season. She will serve as one of the team’s two captains this year.

Senior libero Joy Galles will be Truckee’s other captain this season. Galles led Truckee with 289 digs last year, and was named second team all-league.

The team also returns senior Kaley Settle, who was second team all-league last year. Settle led Truckee with 18 blocks and had more than 120 kills last year.

Senior players Quinn Kirschner and Morgan Just were key contributors to last year’s team as well, with each earning league honorable mention honors. Kirschner led the team with 563 assists last season. Just was third on the team with 155 kills.

“They look really good coming into the season,” said Murphy. “We have lots of options, both outsides and right sides, which is going to be a big, crucial part of it.”

Truckee also returns seniors Drew Lane and Jaylin Powell, who were some of the team’s top blockers from a year ago. Seniors Josalyn Brown, Ashley Parisi, Vanessa Koster and Harlee Netherby will round out a deep lineup of upperclassmen, which includes junior Tatum Legare. The Wolverines also have a pair of sophomores, Callie Rule and Tiana Sisto, on the team, allowing the two to get varsity experience for upcoming seasons.

“The two sophomores that we brought up are definitely good blockers,” said Murphy. “They are going to see some court time, but it’s not just about this year, it’s about the next two years.”

After topping Sparks in the league opener on Wednesday, the program has now won 19 consecutive regular season league games. The girls will see tougher competition this weekend in Reno at the High Sierra tournament, which features Class 4A schools and teams from California. From there, the Wolverines jump back into league play with road matches on Sept. 4 and Sept. 6. The team plays its home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 11 against Dayton.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.