Lowry defeated Fernley in three sets Saturday in the semifinals of the NIAA 3A Northern Regional Volleyball Tournament at Fallon’s Elmo Dericco Gym.
Lowry, the No. 2 seeded team, easily won the first set 25-18, but the Lady Bucks rallied for a second-set win, 25-21. In the third set, Lowry never trailed in a 25-21 win over No. 3 Fernley. Both teams brought in 12-4 league records.
The first match went back and forth until Lowry took charge with a 9-8 lead. Up until that point, neither team could mount any sustainment although Fernley’s Abby Martin and Raye Arroyo each had a kill, while Lowry’s Kyllie Sappington recorded a pair of kills.
Lowry pulled away 4-1 before Fernley took a timeout. Jayden Eastman had a block, and Brittany Jacaway had a well-timed kill for the No. 2 team.
The Lady Bucks increased its lead by as many as eight points, 20-12, due to Sappington’s serving until Colby Johnson smashed a kill for Fernley. Down the stretch, Fernley committed five forced errors.
Fernley grabbed an 8-2 lead early in the second set on two serving aces from Natalie Stewart and Brittney Gaitan’s block. Martin chipped in with a kill from the left side. Lowry then cut the lead on several Fernley errors, but the Vaqueros’ Katelyn Garnett had a kill, and Jaiden Sullivan served an ace.
Lowry tied the set at 15 on a serving ace from Tailor West, and after that, the lead changed twice before Lowry pulled away with a 7-4 run.
Sappington had a kill from the left side, a two-handed tip and her final kill to give Lowry a 23-20 lead. Fernley then responded with Garnett, who tipped the ball over the net.
Lowry never trailed in the third set although Fernley came within a point twice midway through the game. Fernley struggled with its errors, while Lowry relied on Sappington’s play from the outside. Garnett, though, had a kill for Fernley.
Lowry’s dominance at the net made the difference with Eastman, Jacaway and Brooke Hansen. Fernley, though, tightened the set, 17-16, after Arroyo slammed a kill off the back row. For the rest of the set, Lowry surged ahead on an 8-5 run with Sierra Maesrtrejuan accounting for three consecutive points. Fernley had help from Arroyo, who had a kill down the right side and a return Lowry couldn’t handle.
Jacaway responded with a kill of her own that ricocheted off a Fernley player.
Lowry played Truckee in the finals later in the day and won in five sets. Both teams advance to this weekend’s state tourney in Las Vegas.