During their volleyball careers, Truckee’s Maia Dvoracek and Fallon’s Whitney Skabelund rose to become the Northern 3A’s cream of the crop.
Their desire to lead their respective teams to victory and their experience to inspire their teammates pushed Truckee to finish first with Fallon coming in second place.
Dayton’s Monica Halverson and Fallon’ Patty Daum were selected Co-Coach of the Year for the Northern League. Daum led Fallon to a 17-7 overall record and 13-3 in league with the only losses coming to Lowry and twice to Truckee. Daum also won the Coach of the Year award when Fallon played in the Northern 4A.
“We had a great season,” Daum said. “We wanted to do one game better, but we didn’t play well as a team (in the regional semifinals).”
Daum, though, deferred her award to her players.
“It’s not about the adults, it’s about the players,” she said.
Furthermore, Daum said she was honored for her team when opposing coaches noted the Lady Wave’s discipline and how they presented themselves on the court.
As a team, Skabelund said the Lady Wave made great strides this season.
“I’m proud of the way our team played,” she said.
Dvoracek, who plays club volleyball in the Sacramento area and plays in numerous tournaments, earned Most Valuable Player honors. The left-handed outside hitter who paralyzed opponents with her hard swing, kills and blocks, will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next fall on a volleyball scholarship.
Skabelund, who made first-team along with fellow Lady Wave hitter Haley Paladini, will be trading in her volleyball playbook after high school. The Fallon senior, a two-time state winner in the triple and long jumps recently signed a letter of intent to attend Utah State University.
Additionally, Dvoracek and Skabelund earned first-team, all-state honors along with Truckee’s Madison Bromley. Skabelund missed the MVP award by one vote.
It was an honor to make first-team all state,” Skabelund said. “I thought more girls from the north would have made the team.”
Skabelund praised Dvoracek, who will take her game to the next level.
“Maia is a good player,” Skabelund said. “She is a good player in her own way, and I am a good player in my own way.”
During the season, Skabelund led Fallon with 151 kills; finished third with112 serving points including 21 aces; finished second in blocks with 92 and assists with 39.
Haylee Paladini also made the first team and provided a lethal one-two punch as an outside hitter with Skabelund, and when she shifted to the middle, she and LeAnn Stands became a solid wall to deflect opposing hitters.
Paladini finished second in kills 119, served points with 135 and first in blocks with 100. Earning second-team honors was Stands. She had 97 kills, good for third-place on the team. She also led the team with 100 blocks.
“I worked very hard and earned that position on the second team,” Stands said. “But I was hoping for first team.”
Stands said she felt her hitting and blocking were consistent this season, and her overall play improved from 2015.
“I didn’t have many errors like last year,” she added.
Zoey Swisher was an honorable mention pick and led the team with 426 assists. She had 116 points including 16 aces.
Swisher said the team competed very well this season, finishing second in the league standings behind Truckee. The Fallon setter said it was nice to be recognized by the league’s coaches.
“I was honorable mention all three years,” she said.