The Lady Wave swept Fernley in three sets Tuesday before the team honored its six seniors — Aleisa Billips, Kayla Buckmaster, Haylee Paladini Whitney Skabelund, LeAnn Stands, and Zoey Swisher.
The Wave overpowered Fernley in the first two sets, 25-18 and 25-14 before the Lady Vaqueros almost knocked off their hosts, losing 25-21 in Fallon’s final regular season home game. The Wave, though, hosts the Northern 3A volleyball tournament next week.
On Wednesday in Dayton, the Wave solidified second place in the Northern 3A by taking three of four sets from Dayton, 25-21, 23-25, 25-10 and and 25-22.
Fallon set the tone early against Fernley in the Northern 3A match played at the Elmo Dericco Gym. Fallon grabbed a 5-0 lead as Swisher served four points. Fernley, though, reciprocated by scoring three points and received a timely block from Raye Arroyo, who consistently plugged the middle for Fernley.
The Wave displayed an arsenal of different weapons, however, ranging from Faith Cornmesser’s gingerly tip at the net to Skabelund’s one-handed return. She also had a kill as did outside hitter Paladini.
Midway through the set, Fernley closed the gap to 17-13 after Arroyo ripped a kill down the middle, but a back tip from Paladini on the next point started a 5-1 run. Down the final stretch, each team scored 4 points. Fernley’s Mallorie Campbell and Taylor Richardson each had a kill. A Fernley serve that veered out of bounds gave Fallon its 25th point and the win.
Swisher’s serving allowed Fallon to take a 3-0 lead in the second set. Buckmaster recorded a kill, and Fernley’s Primm Sibson’s kill gave Fernley its first point of the set. Solid serving from Cornmesser and Journey Martin, along with a Paladini kill and block, allowed the Wave to grab a 7-point lead. Two errors and Skabelund’s cross body kill frustrated Fernley’s front row.
Down the final stretch, Fallon outscored Fernley 12-9. Richardson and Arroyo each had a kill, yet it was the mistakes that awarded points to the Wave.
Buckmaster had a pair of kills at the end that gave Fallon its second set win.
For part of the second and all of the third set, Fallon coach Patty Daum mixed up her players’ starting positions.
She had Macie Anderson come in and set, while Lorynn Fagg became the libero.
“These girls … I can ask them to do anything and they will do it,” Daum said. “It gives them a little more experience.”
Daum said the players become stagnant playing in the same position, but moving them around has helped.
“Change is good,” she added.
Fernley saved its best for last in a set that saw eight ties.
Swisher started the set with two service points, giving Fallon a quick lead. Arroyo’s kill cut the lead in half. Fallon errors gave Fernly a 4-2 lead and used a combination of two service aces from Cornmesser and Skabelund’s kill to regain the lead. Fallon couldn’t pull away because each team traded points. Paladini ripped a serve ace, while Skabelund recorded another kill. On the other side of the net, Fernley’s Hailey Ames played good defense that resulted in two points.
A tip ball from Kaylee St. Clair and a Fallon ball that went out of bounds tied the set at 12. Fallon surged ahead only to be tied again on a Fernley kill to tie the set at 15. Both Arroyo and Stands dominated the net for their respective teams. Arroyo jumped high to deliver kills against Fallon, and Stands mixed it up with hard-hitting kills or timely blocks.
Skabelund’s kill down the middle of the court was fumbled on the return from Fernely, thus resulting in the winning point for Fallon.
Daum said the team’s serving was much better, and the girls found their spots on the court.
“The girls did a great job tonight on their serves,” she added. “Our outside hitters timing was better, and our defensive cover was good tonight.
Fernley played well in the final set.
“In the third set, I was actually proud of them,” said Fernley coach Kiara Stone in describing her players. “I put in girls who sat for the first two sets, and they came in and played well.”
Stone said Arroyo worked hard in the middle with her numerous kills and blocks against Fallon. At times, she felt her front row frustrated Fallon
“I have four seniors, but three of the seniors usually start. My setters are young and Raye (Arroyo) will be here next year
Despite their overall youth, Stone said the players are scrappy and still dive after the balls knowing they may not have a chance to return them to the other side.
As Fallon begins to head into the postseason next week, Paladini said the Wave is playing well.
I feel we did I pretty good, but the team played well; it was one of our better games,” she said. “The team reacted well when we sere switching things out.”
Paladini sees a promising future for Fernley as well.
“They are a good team,” she said. “I’m not surprised how they played.”
DAYTON — The Lady Wave played one of its most complete matches of the season against the Dust Devils, 25-21, 23-25, 25-10 and 25-22.
“The kids were firing on all cylinders. Everybody was on game last night,” Daum said. “Last night everything began to unfold, and we had a good win at Dayton.”
Daum said the match was very competitive against the two schools.
“The crowd was into the match because of Senior Night, and they saw good volleyball from both teams,” Daum added.
Daum said Paladini played one of her best matches of the season, and her serving baffled Dayton. At one time, the Fallon senior had four aces in a row. Paladini finished with 14 kills.
Daum said Cornmesser took care of the outside with her hitting, while Skabelund and Stands dominated the front row.
“We took Dayton out of their offense,” Daum said.
Skabelund had 15 kills, while Stands recorded six kills and five blocks.
Both Fallon and Truckee will receive first-round byes in the Northern 3A Regional Tournament that will be played at Fallon beginning in one week.
Dayton Coach Monica Halverson wasn’t sure who the Dust Devils would play in the opener.
“It was a tough loss,” Halverson said. “We underestimated Fallon and how well they run their offense.
“We lost a hard-fought first set and rallied together and won the second set. We kept them guessing with our hits. The third game was ugly. We made major mental mistakes and lost our energy. We missed a couple of serves in the fourth set and hit a couple of balls into the net.”