Truckee is proving it may be the high school volleyball team to beat when Fallon hosts the Northern 3A regional tournament next month.
After suffering early season losses to Fernley and Dayton and another to Lowry in late September, the Lady Wolverines are rolling in league play after defeating the Lady Wave in three sets Tuesday, 25-14, 25-16 and 25-10, at the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium. Truckee, which captured last year’s regional tournament in Fallon, dominated all facets of the game against the Wave.
Truckee improved to 13-11 overall, 8-3 in league, one game behind Lowry. Fallon fell to 6-13 and 4-8 in conference play with one home match remaining against Dayton on Oct. 26.
“There’s a lot of diversity because they’re really agile,” said Truckee coach Erika Murphy of this year’s team.
Murphy said her team mixed it up by showing different looks and trying different plays against Fallon. Murphy also said she changed several things with the team after Truckee played in a tournament in September.
Co-captain Madison Bromley, who came into her own as a junior last year when Truckee dominated the Northern 3A, provided the Wolverines with power from her outside hitter’s position, while Fallon had difficulty adjusting to left-hander Ryleigh Hogland from the right side. Hogland led both teams with 11 kills and Bromley added 8.
Haylie Stewart provided solid serves in the first set, accounting for nine points to give Truckee a 10-3 lead. The Lady Wave struggled against Truckee, committing four straight errors. Hogland recorded a kill and a tip. Kelly Cross’ backhand return added to Truckee’s lead.
Fallon’s Macie Anderson provided a bright spot for the Wave, serving an ace.
Truckee closed out the first set on a 7-2 run on a pair of kills, one each from Bromley and Anika Penrose.
The visitors pulled away in the second set despite making several forced errors, although Fallon tried to keep the score close. The Wave, though, became their own worst enemy with deep out-of-bound shots. Cross, though, frustrated the Wave as she had a block and kill and returned the ball to spin across the top of the net and drop onto the Fallon side.
Anderson nailed a kill for the Wave midway through the set.
With Truckee leading 18-9, both teams scored seven points to close out the set. Fallon’s Journey Martin and Rylee Buckmaster each served an ace, but Truckee’s front line overpowered Fallon for the final four points.
Murphy said Bromley has been effective from the outside. She said Cross, who had eight kills, is only a sophomore, and Hogland is a junior.
“We’re a very young team, a different group without Maia (Dvoracek),” Murphy said. Dvoracek led Truckee to a state title last year and is now playing for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “We may be better balanced this year with different options. It’s good to see the girls become tougher because we had a rocky start at the beginning of the season. We’re still trying different stuff.”
Truckee also received a tremendous effort from setter Jordan Brown, who had 33 assists.
Fallon fired back for a 2-0 lead in the third set and kept the score close within three points until Truckee pulled away with a 9-6 lead. The Wolverines struggled with three returns in the net and couldn’t handle Kinsli Rogne’s block.
The Lady Wave’s Shelbi Shultz also had a service ace.
Cross though, took over with a kill, and Aimee Penrose made a key block against Anderson. Bromley moved effortlessly from one side of the court to the other, leading Truckee with two kills and a lightly hit return that dropped.
Five of Fallon’s final six points were the result of errors.
“The girls have become really focused and have done a great job coming together even with ups and downs and injuries,” Murphy said. “This is a balanced Truckee team where everyone gets to show her strengths.”