Truckee volleyball | Wolverines rebound from loss, edge Spartans in five
Truckee is scheduled to host league matches against Fallon on Monday and South Tahoe on Friday, both at 6 p.m.
TRUCKEE — The Wolverines could finally breathe again, and it showed on the court Saturday.
After two weeks of hampered practice due to heavy wildfire smoke, the Truckee volleyball team bounced back from its first league loss against visiting Elko on Friday to defeat Spring Creek in a hard-fought battle the next morning.
“The smoke has killed us the last two weeks,” Truckee coach Erika Murphy said of the unhealthy air caused by the King Fire, which subsided Friday with the arrival of a much-needed rainstorm. “We have girls with asthma. We’re still recovering. We’re limping our way back into the season.”
After falling in three games to league-leading Elko, 23-25, 14-25, 23-25, Truckee recovered from an early deficit to take down Spring Creek in five, 24-26, 25-15, 25-13, 30-32, 15-11.
“We just haven’t been practicing a lot, so we had a lot of basic errors against Elko (6-0 league), and they’re a good team. Today (Saturday) we talked a lot more and had a more positive attitude,” said Truckee junior Anais Fay, whom Murphy named Player of the Match after tallying 14 kills, four service aces and 11 digs against the Spartans. “We also served a higher percentage.”
The Spartans (2-4 league) came to play against the Wolverines (4-1). The visitors jumped out to a 4-0 lead and stretched it to 15-7 and 20-12 before Truckee snapped out of its funk from the previous night. The Wolverines scored the next eight points to knot the score at 20.
The teams traded leads the remainder of the way and were tied again at 24 when the Spartans scored the final two points on a blocked kill attempt and an errant Truckee set.
Truckee carried its momentum from the second half of the opening set into Game 2. After a back-and-forth start, the hosts rattled off six consecutive points behind the serve of Fay to take an 11-5 lead.
Spring Creek rallied for five straight points to cut the lead to 14-11, but Truckee sophomore Maia Dvoracek ended the run with an emphatic kill, and the Wolverines ended the set with an 11-4 run.
The third game was the most efficient for the Wolverines, who quickly built their lead to 8-3, then extended it to 13-5 and 18-7 and never looked back.
The Spartans, a young squad just like Truckee, showed their resolve in the fourth game. The Wolverines led 12-6 before the visitors began to chip away, eventually tying the score at 14 with an 8-2 run. From there on, neither team could gain an upper hand. The lead swapped on five occasions, while 13 ties kept both benches on edge.
Finally, after a kill by Truckee senior Taylor Stevens gave the Wolverines a 30-29 lead, the Spartans scored the next three points to end the marathon set at 32-20, sending the match to a deciding fifth game.
The Wolverines took care of their home court in the end. They jumped out to an 8-3 lead and were never seriously threatened en route to the 15-11 win.
“What I’m most proud of is that today, compared to last night against Elko, when it came to crucial serving we got them in,” said Murphy, whose team served at a 91.6 percent clip, compared to 85.5 against Elko.
With five sets to work in, Dvoracek finished with 20 kills, Stevens had nine kills, Madison Haley had six kills and Kari Murphy three.
Sophomore setter Shelby Gendreau posted 32 assists and Dvoracek had 22, while Stevens had 20 digs, Dvoracek 17 and Fay 11. Haley, Murphy and Katie Fisher contributed seven digs apiece, and Dvoracek, Gendreau and Tori Simpson each had two aces.
Against Elko, Dvoracek finished with eight kills and 10 assists, Fay had five kills and nine digs, Simpson had two aces, and Stevens seven digs.