Undefeated in league
Long on skill, the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverine volleyball team now faces its biggest obstacles; pacing and mental fortitude.
The squad has won all its league games but is struggling in tournaments due to an inability to focus on the present and not worry about the furure.
“It takes real strong mental fortitude to play well against teams that have better ability than we do,” Shane said. “Participating in the tournament were really big schools with really big programs. There were schools there with as many as two division I athletes per team. Our team played well below their ability because of the psychological factor.”
The program played in a tournament at Reed and then traveled to Dayton where it won the match in three straight games, 15-10, 15-13 and 15-9. A chance to win and go home. The win boosted the team’s official record to 4-0.
This weekend, the Wolverines traveled to participate in the Mammoth tournament.
When the team arrived on Friday, it was immediately met with a match. By 10 o’clock, the Truckee spikers had participated in four consecutive matches, three of which they won decidedly, the fourth a loss.
They lost to Lone Pine, but beat Whittell, Mammoth and Bishop and finished second out of a pool of five.
On Saturday the Truckee girls were faced with a single elimination bracket.
“The players got too caught up in the idea that they had to win,” Shane said, “instead of just playing volleyball.”
The spikers dropped from 65 percent efficiency to 56 percent efficiency in passing and from 86 percent hitting efficiency to only 82 percent, losing in a rematch to Bishop.
Although the Wolvberines had beaten Bishop 15-5 and 15-12 the day before, they dropped their first game on Saturday 16-14 and, according to Shane just couldn’t recoup. Truckee lost the second game 15-8.
“My girls have the ability,” said Shane. “They just think themselves into an error. I told them to try to refocus to the moment. It doesn’t matter what happened before and it doesn’t matter what’s going to happen. You have to trust your body that’s been trained.”
At the Mammoth tourney, Erin DeMont led the Wolverine team with 12 kills. Abbey Whitfield served nine aces to lead the team and Jasmine Eisenberg had a 90 percent passing efficiency. Sara Ford had 10 blocks and Eisenberg racked up 16 digs.
Kendra Murphy, who set for every game, played hard for five straight matches, mustering 11 digs and contributing to “99 percent” of the team’s 49 kills. Murphy is credited with 185 assists.
“The girls have the ability,” said Shane. “They just think themselves into an error.”
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The two-time defending state champion Truckee baseball team opened league play in style last weekend, taking a three-game sweep of Sparks.