MINDEN -- Once the Fallon Greenwave gets rolling, they are one tough volleyball team to stop.
Fallon swept to its third Northern 4A Regional Tournament championship in four years as the Greenwave defeated three straight opponents, capped by their victory against High Desert League rival Galena on Saturday night. Fallon defeated Galena 15-6, 15-4, 16-14 in the finals before a crowd of about 200 at Douglas High School.
Earlier in the day, Fallon defeated Carson in the semifinals 15-13, 15-5, 15-10. Douglas defeated Carson in the consolation final, 15-10, 11-15, 15-8, 17-15, to finish third and qualify for the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Tournament. Three Northern 4A teams advance to the state tournament, which begins Thursday at at Galena.
Fallon, is now 28-1 overall for the season, its lone loss coming against Bay area power St. Francis during a tournament in Reno in September. St. Francis has won the California Division II state championship two years in a row and six of the last nine, which goes to show how strong Fallon is.
Then again, Galena coach Teresa Burrows already knew that.
"Volleyball is a game of momentum that favors any team once you get control of it. And they're so solid, they are real tough to stop," Burrows said.
Especially with setter Tristin Adams and outside hitter Carly Sorensen, senior standouts who have verbally committed to sign with the University of Nevada. Adams was credited with 14 assists, nine kills and seven points in the final against Galena. Sorensen had 15 kills and two blocks.
Anne Mackedon contributed 14 service points and Laura Stotz had 13 points. Stotz had three aces, the last two coming back-to-back and giving the Greenwave a 15-14 lead in the third game against Galena. Adams also had an ace to close out the game and match.
"It was a very disappointing loss, but this was a very productive weekend for us in a lot of ways," Burrows said. "We did qualify for state and that was our primary goal."
Joanna Hixon had 10 kills and 11 digs to lead Galena statistically. Setters Mandy Dickman and Kate Wallace combined to hand out 21 assists and Whitney Dibble had four blocks.
The Grizzlies clinched their state berth with a victory against Douglas in the morning's first semifinal, 6-15, 15-12, 15-10, 15-13.
"That was an excellent game. Douglas and Galena have a lot of history. We've been battling each other for about eight years, but it's been a while since we've beaten them," said Burrows, who coached Galena to a win over Douglas in the 1994 tournament championship match. "We were ready for Douglas. Especially Joanna (Hixon). She had lost to Douglas three years in a row so I think she was very motivated."
Hixon had 21 kills and 25 digs to lead the Grizzlies statistically. Dibble also had 14 kills, six blocks and 15 digs, while Carly Kolesar put down 10 kills. Wallace handed out 33 assists and Dickman 15. Whitey Garol had 13 digs.
Last year, Douglas knocked Galena out of the tournament thanks to a dramatic comeback in the semifinals that carried the Tigers to victory -- 13-15, 12-15, 15-4, 17-15, 23-21.
There would be no such comeback this time. Galena dropped the first game and then came back to win the next three, although there were some anxious moments before it was all done. The Grizzlies had trouble putting Game 3 away, even after they built a 14-10 lead. Five times they served to win and each time the Tigers got their sideout to stay alive.
The sixth time proved a charm when Hixon, who had put down kills for three straight sideouts to keep the score at 14-10, served up the final point to close the game out.
The fourth game also went back and forth. The Tigers fought back from a 13-8 deficit to tie it at 13 on a kill by Cheryl Nicoll before their momentum slipped away.
In the process, the Tigers failed to reach the tournament's championship round for the first time since 1991, a streak of 11 straight years.
"Galena always puts up a good fight," Douglas setter Brittany Addeo said. "We had a good comeback, it's hard to do that when the teams are this good and this even.
"We were disappointed about not being in the championship, but we're definitely glad to be going to state," added the senior, who had 48 assists against Galena and 29 against Carson.
Emily Haas had 21 kills, 15 digs, four aces and six blocks against Galena. The senior outside hitter also had 11 kills, six blocks and 21 digs against Carson. Nicoll had seven kills and 23 digs in the Carson match.
No Carson statistics were available.
NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Tournament
Nov. 14-16, Galena High School
Thursday's opening round: Palo Verde (Sunset #2) vs. Silverado (Sunrise #2), 1 p.m.; Durango (Sunset #1) vs. Douglas (North #3), 3 p.m.; Green Valley (Sunrise #1) vs. Galena (North #2), 5 p.m.; Fallon (North #1) vs. Bishop Gorman (Sunset #3), 7 p.m.