Two familiar faces squared off Tuesday, and the result was a convincing sweep for the Fernley volleyball team.
The Vaqueros, behind hitter Brooke Mattice, swatted their way past Fallon, 25-9, 25-21, 26-24, at the Elmo Dericco Gym.
Mattice pounded the Fallon defense with 25 kills — more than Fallon’s entire team (21) — and recorded five blocks to give Fernley (9-7 overall, 1-0 Northern Division I-A) an early season league win.
The Lady Wave has dropped two straight matches after winning four consecutive at the Lassen Tournament. Fernley’s win snapped a two-game losing skid.
“We were just really pumped,” Mattice said. “They were giving me a lot of line and I saw the seasm. They left back corner open quite a bit so I took it.”
Mattice’s power was evident early as the 5-foot-11 senior put the Vaqueros up 11-5 with a kill. Jensen Radley added an ace to put the Vaqueros up 14-5.
Fallon’s defense, meanwhile, struggled to contain Fernley’s offense and the Lady Wave’s blocking was largely ineffective.
Fallon’s offense was choppy and unbalanced, sending numerous balls out of bounds or into the net.
“There is such a rivalry between Fallon and Fernley that I think there becomes an intimidation factor,” Fallon coach Patty Daum said. “I think they were so nervous they couldn’t even breathe.”
The Lady Wave, though, settled those nerves in the third set upon the return of senior Mary Scholz to the lineup. Scholz missed the past two weeks due to an injury sustained in practice.
“I didn’t want to play her, and if I did I wanted to play her minimally,” Daum said. “The thing Mary has is she is kind of the spark plug to our engine. But I also have to think about her well-being.”
Her presence, though, provided a spark and power in the front line. Scholz, however, was a bit rusty hitting as she netted three kills on seven attempts.
Despite her shaky return, Scholz’s presence opened up lanes for junior Ali Tedford, who had a team-high seven kills. Tedford also had nine assists, while Taylor Amezquita had a team-high 11.
The two rivals battled throughout the third game with the Lady Wave staging a rally after trailing 13-6. A blast by Tedford cut the lead, and Tedford tallied three straight points on her serve to pull Fallon with 13-10.
Tedford tied the set at 15 with a sneaky tip, but the Lady Wave were unable to pull away. Bailey Henderson’s spike — one of six on the night — lifted Fernely to an 18-16 lead.
But the end of the set came with some controversy. Tied at 24, Tedford was called for a double hit giving the Vaqueros the lead. It appeared Tedford had set the ball cleanly, and Daum’s protest failed and her outburst earned a warning. Fernley’s Katie Gelmstedt iced the match with a block.
“It was a lesson learned,” Daum said. “I think it was nerves … first home game.”