Truckee volleyball | Wolverines overpower Elko to advance to state championship |

Truckee volleyball | Wolverines overpower Elko to advance to state championship

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sylas Wright/Sierra SunTruckee volleyball players celebrate after defeating Elko in three games in a 3A state semifinal match Friday in Reno. Truckee will face Dayton in the state championship at Bishop Manogue High School on Saturday at 2 p.m.

RENO, Nev. and#8212; The Indians and#8211; travelling all the way from Elko with a full cheerleading squad and spirited rooting section and#8211; may have won the battle of the boisterous crowd Friday night.

But the top-seeded Wolverines took care of business on the court to win the 3A state semifinal match in straight sets, 25-13, 25-18, 25-18.

Truckee, the defending state champs and top seed in the tournament, at 31-4 overall, will now face second-seeded Dayton for the state championship on Saturday. The match is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Bishop Manogue High School in Reno.

The Wolverines controlled Friday’s match from the onset, jumping out to a 9-0 lead at the start the first set to establish the tone.

Elko, to its credit, never relented. Fueled by their crowd, the Indians scratched and clawed to make the Wolverines earn their points. And earn their points they did, as the champs put on a show with an accurate passing game and punishing attack. They finished with just five attacking errors on 89 attempts.

and#8220;They did well,and#8221; said Truckee assistant coach Kim Thomas. and#8220;The first set we didn’t pass as well as we wanted. But the second and third sets we brought our passing back to where we wanted it to be.and#8221;

After the 9-0 run to start the match, keyed by eight straight serves by Krysta Murphy, Elko fought back to within 14-9 before Truckee scored four straight points to regain the momentum. The Wolverines led all of Game 2 following a 1-0 Elko start, while the Indians took a 3-0 lead early in Game 3 before Truckee caught them at 7-7.

At match point, junior middle blocker Kiersten Knoppel smashed home one of her seven kills with authority to send Truckee into the state championship.

and#8220;We came in and played them hard,and#8221; said Elko head coach Cammie Nelson, whose team had not seen Truckee play first-hand before Friday. and#8220;I had looked at their stats but hadn’t seen any film on them, so we came in kind of blind and just did what we could against them.and#8221;

Junior outside hitter Annie Reiswig led the Wolverine attack with 14 kills. Murphy tallied six kills to go along with her four service aces and 26 total serves, and senior setter Jillian Akers had 29 assists and five digs.

“I think we were able to play our game,” said Truckee senior Allison Costa. “We had enthusiasm, and that’s what makes us play well.”

For the Indians, who entered as a No. 3 seed, Jacquelynne Pearson led the way with eight kills, while Julie Stefka finished with six kills and Emma Sprout had 12 digs.

and#8220;I think Elko played really hard. They never gave up,and#8221; Thomas said. and#8220;They had a lot of height, which is something we haven’t seen a lot of this season. So that was a good challenge. They were able to shut down our middle pretty well.and#8221;

Costa said she and the Wolverines are eager for the opportunity to earn back-to-back state championships against Dayton, a team they defeated in four sets, 25-23, 25-15, 21-25, 25-21, in a regular-season meeting at Dayton back on Sept. 21.

“Yes, I’m so excited,” Costa said.

Dayton (19-5) cruised into the finals with a 25-16, 25-23, 25-18 win against Boulder City on Friday night.

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