Domination at the line.
The Lady Wave volleyball team won its fifth league match in a row, a three-set sweep over visiting Fernley Wednesday night at the Elmo Dericco Gym.
Fallon, which improves to 11-8 overall, 5-2 in the 1A Northern Division 1A, posted wins of 25-15, 25-8 and 25-14 over the Vaqueros, who fall to 2-5 in league. Fallon played at Dayton last night.
Yet, the story of the match revealed a superior line of Haylee Paladini, Megan McCormick and LeAnn Stands who stopped Fernley on numerous times from mounting any offense against the Wave.
“One thing we work on religiously is the serve and religiously on blocking and religiously on digs and defense,” said Fallon coach Patty Daum after the match.
Although Fernley played tough in the first set, Fallon put the game away with a 15-5 run after the Vaqueros tied the set at 10.
Early in the match, Fallon had good play at the net from Stands, McCormick and Whitney Skabelund and consistent serving from Paladini and Skabelund, who recorded an ace. Fernley, though, chipped away at the lead and tied the game on two service points from Brooke Chapin.
That’s when Fallon took over.
Fernley struggled at the net with a handful of forced errors, and Zoey Swisher gave Fallon some consistent serving as the Wave pulled away.
A combination of Fernley errors — two at the very end of the set — and Taylor Amezquita’s serving iced the win for Fallon.
Fernley jumped out to a modest 2-1 lead in the second set, but Fallon fired up for a 12-2 run. The Vaqueros’ inability to make clean returns, and good serving from Miranda Ford and Paladini enabled Fallon to pull away. Stands had eight blocks in the match, and McCormick controlled the net.
“They played relentless at the net and didn’t back off at all tonight,” Daum pointed out.
Fallon played near flawless volleyball to close out the set with a combination of well-placed kills and soft returns, specifically a one-handed soft return from Kayla Buckmaster.
As with the first set, Fernley closed out the game with a pair of errors.
Daum said she was pleased with Stands and her domination at the net.
“I can put her in any position in the game, and she does a nice job,” Dam said.
Stands agreed. She said the Wave’s coverage was good as was the hitting.
“We’re improving and learning from each match and fixing our mistakes as we go,” said the 5-foot-10-inch junior. “Communication is the key.
Daum experimented in the third set, readjusting the lineup and using different sets. Yet, the heads-up play from the offense and good serving gave Fallon the win.
Paladini added five blocks and two kills in the match, while McCormick had two kills and two blocks.