Battle in the volleyball trenches

The intense battle between two volleyball rivals was won in the trenches.

After the Lady Wave (11-4 overall, 7-2 in league) captured a first-set win Thursday, 25-21, the Lady Bucks roared back to capture the next three sets — 25-22. 25-19 and 25-21 — and a Northern 3A win over Fallon at the Elmo Dericco Gym. Fallon also dropped a four-set match at Truckee Monday.

The Lady Wave returns to the friendly confines of the Elm Dericco Gym tonight for a 6 p.m. match against South Tahoe.

Lowry (8-13, 6-4) rallied in each set it won, spotting Fallon to leads as many as six points before storming back with head-up play from the middle and outside hitters.

“Their kids came into our gym and outplayed us,” said Fallon coach Patty Daum.

In Fallon’s “do or die” fourth set. Lowry jumped out in front with three quick points behind the serving of Hannah Hillyer before Fallon rallied with four points on a Kayla Buckmaster kill, two Haylee Paldini blocks and a soft return from Faith Cornmesser between the first and second rows.

The lead changed hands five times for the rest of the set. Fallon grabbed a 10-7 lead behind Lorynn Fagg’s five serving points including an ace. With the score knotted at 20, Kepa Bengochea stepped up to the line and delivered three service points for a 22-20 Lowry lead.

“Lorynn served really well,” Daum said of her sophomore player.

The visitors put the set and match away with Hillyer executing a block, and Fallon returning the ball in the net.

“Our defense dug some balls, and in transition, we put the ball away,” said Lowry coach Brandon Eastman.

The Lady Wave won the first set by rallying from a 6-1 deficit to start the match. Four Fallon mistakes enabled Lowry to lead 4-0 before Whitney Skabelund’s kill put Fallon on the scoreboard. Madison Montero’s three serving points led to a 9-11 lead aided by Brittany Jacaway’s heads-up play in the middle.

Lowry consistently kept a six-point lead against Fallon until Aleisa Billips’ kill sparked a Greenwave comeback. Fagg’s serving, along with Skabelund’s block and a tip, tied the set. After two ties, Fallon pulled away on Paladini’s kill and LeAnn Stands’ serving that included an ace.

Bouyed by the first-set momentum, Fallon took a 3-1 lead in the second set, but the lead changes hands early as neither team could mount a sustained drive. Once Lowry took a 6-5 lead, the Buckaroos never trailed. Kylie Sappington not only had a kill for Lowry but she also gave her team a 10-6 lead from the service line.

Fallon had good play from the net with Buckmaster and Stands each having a kill, while Paladini and Stands shared with a blocked ball.

Lowry took advantage of Fallon’s errors to mount a five-point led, but Paladini‘s kill and another Stands’ block sliced the lead to 22-19.

Near the end of the set, Brooklyn Waller pushed the ball down the sideline for Lowry’s 24th point, and a mishandled ball by Fallon at the net gave Lowry the win.

“We got some good, close serves,” Eastman said. “We work on serving a lot in practice, and it’s paying off. This is the best we have served against an opponent.”

Fallon rushed out to a 6-0 lead in the third set as Zoey Swisher pinpointed her serves for Fallon, as Stands and Skabelund frustrated Lowry at the net. After Hillyer accounted for Lowry’s first point with a running one-handed return, she then had three service points to cut the lead to 6-4.

Paladini’s kill from the right side and several Lowry mistakes enabled Fallon to score four points for a 10-6 lead before Alyssa Kuskie served five points to give Lowry the lead.

Fallon regained the lead on Skabelund’s play at the net that included a kill for a 12-11 lead. After that the lead changed sides four times before Lowry outscored Fallon 7-1 to end the set.

Montero and Waller each had a kill, while Kuskie served the final four points.

“They had some pushes in the corner and some crucial blocks,” Daum said. “They shut us down, and we couldn’t adjust.”


Truckee defeated Fallon in four sets Monday night at Truckee: Fallon won the third set, 25-21 but lost the other three, 22-25, 19-25 and 22-25.

Coach Daum said her girls played well.

“In the first set, we were ahead by seven to eight points,” she said. “Overall it was good night.”

Daum said during the third set, Skabelund played well, and Daum changed up the defense. She also cited the play of Buckmaster and Journey Martin.

“The kids are really focused on the season,” she added.


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