Truckee, North Tahoe volleyball: Wolverines advance to state championship, Lakers eliminated |

Truckee, North Tahoe volleyball: Wolverines advance to state championship, Lakers eliminated

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunTruckee fans show their support after the Wolverines defeated Moapa Valley to advance to the 3A state championship on Saturday at 10 a.m.

RENO It took a dramatic gut-check win from behind for the Wolverines to buck their minor case of the jitters Friday morning.But after pulling out a 26-24 win over Moapa Valley in Game 1 of the state semifinal at Damonte Ranch High School, Truckee players settled in to the kind of groove that carried them to 26-6 regular-season record.I knew we couldnt come into a competition like this and not have that nervous excitement, said Truckee head coach Nicole Annaloro, whose Wolverines eliminated the Souths No. 1 seed in straight sets, 26-24, 25-19, 25-19, in front of a sizable crowd of hometown supporters.The girls really stayed focused and executed the things we worked on in practice, Annaloro added. We always set goals, and they did a great job of implementing everything.Truckee, seeded second from the North after dropping a close match to Yerington in the Northern 3A championship last week, heated up as the match progressed.The Pirates (21-8) gave the Wolverines (28-7) a run for their money in the first game, which featured 10 ties and five lead changes. Truckee did not look sharp at times, and an athletic Moapa Valley squad took advantage by stringing together a 6-1 run late in the set to take a commanding 23-18 lead.Coming off a timeout, the Wolverines regained their composure to outscore the Pirates 8-1 down the final stretch.Truckee senior Michelle Hoehn played an instrumental role in the win, driving home seven of her match-high 12 kills, the last of which tied the score at 24.We were nervous to start out, an excited Hoehn said after the match. It was just a matter of getting the nerves out of the way and playing our game. …The fans did help. Having that Truckee support was awesome.Game 2 was all Truckee, as the Wolverines jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never trailed. Moapa Valley held tough with a strong defensive effort, pulling to within a single point at 14-13, but Truckee overpowered the Pirates to the finish, ending on a 9-3 run.By Game 3 Truckee hitters were smashing kills with a new kind of might, each one sending a reverberating splat throughout the Damonte Ranch gym.They played with confidence, Annaloro said. That right there was the team I know playing without fear and letting it go.Senior co-captains Callan Finney and Nikki Schneider were a big part of the action, finishing with 11 and nine kills, respectively, while Finney added one service ace and eight digs.Kaylee Waters contributed 14 digs and MaryAnn Nason nine digs, while Lindsay Nason had 21 assists, one service ace and six digs and Jillian Akers 12 assists and two aces.After splitting two regular-season matches with Yerington before dropping last weekends regional final, the Wolverines know they will have to bring their A-game Saturday to earn the 3A title. Were going to have to play with heart, Hoehn said.

The Lakers, seeded No. 2 in the Northern 2A, were eliminated by No.1-seeded Lincoln County from the South in straight sets, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23, at Damonte Ranch on Friday evening.We went a lot farther than we really thought possible with this team, said North Tahoe senior Kayla Baumgardner after the match. Our team showed a lot of talent and drive this year.We never gave up.See Tuesdays Sports andamp; Outdoors for a full story with photos from the semifinal match.

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