Truckee volleyball | Wolverines sweep past Boulder City to win third consecutive state championship
There was no secret about it. The two-time defending state champs were going to be a hard act to reckon with in their bid for a three-peat this past weekend.
Sure enough, the top-seeded Wolverines and their nine seniors proved too strong and experienced for their opposition as they swept through the 3A State Volleyball Tournament in Las Vegas to capture a third consecutive title on Saturday.
and#8220;They did it,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Erika Murphy. and#8220;They handled it (the pressure) great. The regular core group was like a bunch of professionals. I was real impressed.and#8221;
Truckee opened the tournament Friday with a hard-fought win in four sets against a tough Fallon team, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-23. They followed that up with a relatively easy win in straight sets against top Southern seed Boulder City, 25-16, 25-17, 25-19, on Saturday.
Murphy said the Wolverines took advantage of an emotionally spent Boulder City squad in the championship rout. The Eagles lost a marathon match in five sets against South Tahoe in the semifinal round the previous night, which started at 8 p.m. and ended at 11.
and#8220;We knew it was going to be tough for Boulder City to rally less than 18 hours after the very emotional match they played against South Tahoe,and#8221; Murphy said. and#8220;We knew, because we went through the same thing in 2007 against Moapa (Valley).and#8221;
The Wolverines controlled the championship match from start to finish against the Eagles, who entered with an impressive 30-7 record after narrowly fending off third-seeded South Tahoe of the Northern 3A, 25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 20-18, to advance.
Murphy said Truckee assistant coach Kim Thomas led the team through a briefing Saturday morning exposing Boulder City’s serving locations and attacks, which proved invaluable during the match.
and#8220;It really prepared our defense and serve-receive to predict the types of attacks,and#8221; Murphy said. and#8220;Kim was spot-on.and#8221;
Senior outside hitter Annie Reiswig smashed a match-high 13 kills for the Wolverines, while senior setter Brittany Thomas tallied three aces on 11 serves, and senior outside hitter Kaylee Lewis had five kills and 19 total serves, with no errors.
Krysta Murphy, a senior outside hitter, had 11 serves and six kills, senior middle blocker Kiersten Knoppel finished with six kills, and senior middle blocker Angelena Sahlberg had five kills. Senior libero Katie Mohun led the Truckee defense with 11 digs, and junior setter Gabby Moretti and Thomas each posted six digs.
and#8220;Besides the great attacks, digs and blocks, it was a strong two days as Brittany Thomas set the tone for our offense,and#8221; coach Murphy said. and#8220;She did a phenomenal job. Having such solid seniors on the court showed with the stability of our players to not get too caught up in the ups and downs of semis or finals.and#8221;
Of Truckee’s nine seniors, two of them, Reiswig and Murphy, participated in all three state championships since their sophomore seasons on varsity.
and#8220;The nine experienced seniors on the team made it very difficult for the opponents to get any headway against us,and#8221; Kim Thomas said. and#8220;We are so proud of how the athletes competed this weekend and throughout the season.and#8221;
Unlike the championship win, the Fallon match was anything but easy, coach Murphy said, as the Greenwave provided a spirited defensive effort against Truckee’s strong attack.
and#8220;Fallon was a tough match because their defense was great,and#8221; the coach said. and#8220;Their offense wasn’t much to be set up. It was basically that we kept having to try to penetrate their defense. They kept digging balls up.and#8221;
Although Truckee didn’t play its sharpest match of the season against Fallon, Murphy said the girls did what they needed to do to earn the win and move on to the big match. Once that had been accomplished, there was no way the Wolverines were going to be denied their three-peat.
and#8220;They just pulled themselves together and played their game,and#8221; Murphy said. and#8220;I felt like they played their B Game on Friday night and their A Game on Saturday. There was just nothing stopping them on Saturday night. They looked really good.and#8221;
Truckee posted a final season record of 23-9 overall, with all of their losses coming against larger schools.
There’s no reason to believe the Wolverines will fall off next season, either, Murphy said, as the team returns three players from this year’s squad while welcoming a new crop of talented underclassmen that performed well at the JV level this year.
and#8220;I feel like the JV is going to be coming in strong. They’ve played together in middle school and club since sixth grade. The middles we have from JVs coming up are just getting better and better, and they’re tall too. So I don’t think we’re going to miss much of a beat,and#8221; Murphy 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.