Truckee volleyball: Wolverines beat Yerington in 5 for state championship | SierraSun.com

Truckee volleyball: Wolverines beat Yerington in 5 for state championship

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Photo courtesy of Marty MurphyThe Truckee High volleyball team shows off its state championship plaque after defeating rival Yerington in five games on Saturday.
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The Wolverines were not to be denied a third year in a row.

In similarly dramatic fashion to past nail-biters this season, Truckee stormed back from behind in two of its three wins to topple three-time defending state champ Yerington in the 3A state championship Saturday in Las Vegas.

The state championship and#8212; delivered, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-7 and#8212; marks Truckee’s first-ever in volleyball.

How sweet it was after finishing runner-up to Yerington in the state title match each of the past two seasons.

and#8220;The girls played with a lot of heart, and they came through in the end,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Nicole Annaloro, conceding that the Wolverines made their coaching staff sweat by falling behind in four of the five games Saturday.

and#8220;Very much so,and#8221; she said. and#8220;But at the same time I also knew that they were going to fight back, because that’s what they do.and#8221;

The Wolverines trailed 19-11 in Game 1 before outscoring the Lions 14-2 down the stretch. They also fell behind 17-11 in Game 3 before battling back to win, 25-22. Truckee led most of the decisive fifth game after an early tie.

and#8220;They like to dig a hole. I don’t know. They play well in pressure situations,and#8221; Annaloro said. and#8220;I think every game but Game 5 they dug themselves a nice little hole.and#8221;

Annaloro said the Lions focused much of their effort on stopping senior middle blocker Merry Brown. But even so, Brown finished with a match-high 20 kills to go along with her one service ace.

and#8220;They did a great job defensively against us, putting up a big block and digging a lot of balls,and#8221; the coach said. and#8220;But in the end we came through and played what we call Truckee tempo. Definitely it showed up in Game 5, when were able to get a big lead and take it from there.and#8221;

Senior libero Kaylee Waters helped pace the Wolverines in the win, finishing with 19 digs and two aces, while junior setter Jillian Akers tallied 47 assists and two aces, sophomore Annie Reiswig had 18 kills, and senior Laura Tirman had seven kills, 10 digs and two aces. Sophomore Krysta Murphy recorded two aces.

The Wolverines and#8212; who defeated Virgin Valley in straight sets, 25-23, 25-10, 25-15, on Friday to advance past semifinal round and#8212; finished the season a perfect 16-0 against the 3A, and 28-4 overall. They beat Yerington (12-4, 28-6) four times, winning in five games twice during the regular season before sweeping the Lions in three games for the Northern 3A title.

and#8220;We played well as a team. The girls developed good chemistry,and#8221; Annaloro said. and#8220;They dealt with adversity throughout the whole season, and the girls continued to play together as a team, and I think that’s what did it. They all had the same goal.and#8221;

From the first match of the season, when Truckee needed four games to get past 2A Incline, the Wolverines improved by leaps and bounds, Annaloro said.

and#8220;They’re a completely different team from the beginning of the season to now. And that’s one thing all our coaches have all commented on, that every player has improved so much, and the team has improved so much. It really is a different team from the beginning of the season to now,and#8221; she said.