Truckee volleyball: Wolverines dominate regional championships
Division I-A state championship
Henderson — Nov. 13-14
(1) Truckee vs. (2) Sierra Vista, Friday 6:10 p.m.
(1) Faith Lutheran vs. (2) Dayton, Friday 8 p.m.
State championship, Saturday 4:45 p.m.
TRUCKEE — The Wolverines treated their fans to a dominant display in their final home matches.
After sweeping through league play, the top-seeded Truckee volleyball team took care of third-seeded Dayton in straight sets, 25-11, 25-10, 25-14, in the Northern Division I-A regional championship on Saturday. In similar fashion, the Wolverines advanced to the regional final with a win in straights sets over fourth-seeded Fallon, 25-15, 25-20, 25-18.
“They’ve been on the rise ever since we played in the High Sierra tournament, because they knew they had to clean up a lot of stuff,” Truckee coach Erika Murphy said of her team, which dropped only one set en route to a perfect 16-0 league record. “I think they played great. They didn’t let down on their passes and were really focused in on doing a good job.”
The regional final was never close. Both Murphy and Dayton coach Monica Halverson suggested that the Dust Devils might have ran out of steam after upsetting second-seeded Lowry in five sets in a tightly contested semifinal. That win ended Lowry’s season while earning Dayton a state championship berth.
“Dayton was basically just coming off their (semifinal) match super excited to go to state,” Murphy said. “Dayton fought their way back from some injuries and did a fabulous job. That match was not reflective of them.”
Regardless, the Wolverines were on their game. They raced out to a 9-0 lead in the opening set before the Dust Devils got on the board and trailed only once in the match, at 2-0 early in the third set.
“Both teams we played today gave us an extremely good effort,” Truckee senior Katie Fisher said. “They played us tough, but overall, I think we were just the better team and we prevailed. We’re pumped.”
Fisher and senior Maddie Haley led the way with 10 kills apiece, while senior Anais Fay tallied nine kills and junior Maia Dvoracek had eight. Dvoracek also posted five service aces, 10 digs and 30 assists, Fay had three aces, 18 serve returns and six digs, Fisher had eight digs, and Jordan Brown had 10 assists. Haley recorded Truckee’s only block.
Dvoracek was on fire in Truckee’s semifinal win over Fallon, which advanced with a quarterfinal win in straight sets over fifth-seeded South Tahoe on Friday. The southpaw smashed 19 kills to go along with her 30 assists and eight digs. Fay also had a hot hand, finishing with 11 kills, four aces, 10 digs and 33 serve returns.
Haley had seven kills, Fisher had 10 digs, three kills and seven serve returns, Tatum Kula had three kills, and Brown had 15 assists.
Truckee will carry a 25-8 overall record into the Division I-A state championship tournament this Friday and Saturday in Henderson, where they’ll square off against No. 2 Southern seed Sierra Vista. The Mountain Lions (17-11 overall, 13-2 league) upset top-seeded Virgin Valley (25-7, 14-0) in the Southern region semifinal to advance to state.
“They are a very athletic team,” Murphy said of Sierra Vista. “They don’t have as much height, so I’m hoping we can take advantage of the blocking that we have. But I think they are definitely going to give us a tough match. They took it to Virgin Valley, and they were 14-0.”
Should the Wolverines get past Sierra Vista, they’ll likely face top-seeded Faith Lutheran (28-11, 14-0) in the state championship on Saturday. Faith Lutheran — a large school that is slated to move back up to the Division I after this season — defeated the Mountain Lions in the Southern region final and did not lose a single set in league play.
Truckee will look to ride the momentum of its regional title and 14-match winning streak into the state tournament.
“They (Faith Lutheran) are undefeated in the South and they’ve swept everybody, so having momentum going into that game can really decide whether or not we can play to their level,” Fay said. “In this division I’m pretty sure we’re the smallest school. Being able to go in there and possibly beat them would be unbelievable.”
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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.