TRUCKEE VOLLEYBALL: Lions edge Wolverines in five to capture Northern 3A title
TRUCKEE Momentum is a fickle thing when the top two Northern 3A volleyball teams square off.Saturday marked another one of those occasions, and the Wolverines and Lions did not disappoint a near standing-room crowd of red- and purple-clad supporters from both sides.In an action-packed barn burner rife with emotion, host Truckee fell in five games, 22-25, 25-16, 14-25, 25-21, 12-15, to settle for the Norths No. 2 seed entering the State Championship.These are two of the best teams in the North, hands down, said Yerington co-head coach Jim Aiazzi, whose team edged Truckee in last years 3A State Championship. When we play its unbelievable how it brings out the best in each other. Truckees a hell of a team.The same could be said of the Lions, who carried an identical 11-1 league record as Truckee into the Northern 3A Regional Championship. The Wolverines hosted the six-team tournament because they owned the tie-breaker, even though the squads split their two regular-season meetings both in five games.Truckee head coach Nicole Annaloro, sitting exhausted in the empty stands as fans filed out of the gym, gave credit to Yerington for a well-played match. Particularly the fifth and deciding game.They made less mistakes than we did in that final game, Annaloro said. We had two service errors, and in a game to 15, theres not much room for error.The fifth game was tight early on, with three ties and two lead changes before the Lions outscored Truckee 9-6 down the final stretch. Yerington senior and returning All-State MVP Kayla Lommori scored four of her match-high 25 kills in the final set, according to the Lions stat book.For the Wolverines, senior Callan Finney led the way with 14 kills and 15 digs, and Kati Murphy added eight kills and seven service aces. Murphy served nine times consecutively at one point, keying a 9-0 run to give Truckee a crucial win in Game 2.Seniors Michelle Hoehn and Nikki Schneider posted seven kills apiece for the Wolverines, while Lindsay Nason and Jillian Akers had 19 and 18 assists, respectively, and Kaylee Waters had 27 digs.I thought our passing was terrific … but we fluctuated a lot, Annaloro said. We need to work on being more consistent all the way through. Weve been battling with that all year.Both teams struggled with consistency Saturday, as momentum teetered back and forth from start to finish. Its just too much pressure for the girls to keep focus, Aiazzi said. They win one and let up, and then the other team takes focus.And so it went until a winner prevailed.Entering the two-day state tournament on Friday and Saturday, Annaloro said the Wolverines are going to stick with their game plan in hopes of knocking off No. 1-seeded Moapa Valley from the South in the semifinal.Were going to keep doing what were doing, which is focus on defense, consistent blocking and nice passing, she said. Assuming the Wolverines get past Moapa Valley, theyll face the winner between Yerington and Dayton, the Norths No. 3 seed.Aiazzi is already predicting a Truckee-Yerington rematch for the 3A title.Were going to meet for the State Championship, and its going to go five, he said.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.