Lady Wave begins D1-A playoffs |

Lady Wave begins D1-A playoffs

Mike Sciandra

The Lady Wave's first playoff match is against the South Tahoe Vikings today at 5 p.m. at Truckee High School after finishing their season at 9-7 in D1-A and 16-13 overall.

The Vikings, ending even with Fallon at 9-7 in D1-A and 10-8 overall, will be the first hump for the Lady Wave to get over if they want a chance at the championship.

The Wave has played two matches this season against South Tahoe, winning both at 3-1 and 3-2 ,respectively.

These past victories have no bearing on Fallon coach Patty Daum, though, who views the start of the regionals as a blank slate for all teams where anything can happen.

"When you make it to regionals, everyone has the same record, and that's 0-0," Daum said. "So at regionals, you have to come ready to play, and there's no room for error because everybody is gunning for the same thing."

The Wave girls exceed the Vikings in their sheer number of kills, 535 to 474, due to a strong Wave offense, particularly by Whitney Skabelund and Haylee Paladini.

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Skabelund leads the Wave in kills this season at 119 with a percentage of 37.3, while Paladini follows closely at 89 kills and a 36.2 kill percentage.

South Tahoe's Novel Moses leads her team with 145 kills and a 37.0 kill percentage, followed by Paige Naccarato with 92 kills and a 29.5 kill percentage.

Offense aside, defensively the Wave seems to dwarf the Vikings in blocking, with totals of 266 to 69 and 131 solo blocks versus 68 solo blocks.

Paladini, as well as the Wave's LeAnn Stands, played a significant role in Fallon's strength, ending their seasons at 46 solo blocks and 31 solo blocks at the net.

The Vikings do exceed the Wave in their serving game, however, with 207 successful aces and a 26.7 ace percentage over the Wave's 146 aces and 11.0 ace percentage.

Aces aside, Fallon has lost many points, as well as matches to service errors, 196 in total for the season. Though the Wave's service percentage is still strong at 85.3 percent over the Vikings' 73.9 percent, Daum has said that she and the team are focusing on this in practice.

"We're just fine tuning is all," Daum said. "We're working very specifically on our serves, our strategies on serves, our serve receiving, and passing after. Those are the things that we do well and those are the things we're going to keep strong this week."

Fallon lost its last match of the season to Dayton in a 3-2 upset, one of their closest matches yet, particularly on unforced errors at the net and with trouble blocking in bounds deflecting kills that would've otherwise landed out. Daum said that the Wave still finished the season strong in light of unforced errors as one of their hang-ups this season.

"The season, it's not where I wanted to end up but it's where we deserved to be," Daum said. "We earned that spot and, it's not that I don't think the other teams are as good as us, not at all. It's just that the other teams in the league didn't have as many unforced errors as we did so frequently. Our unforced errors and mental errors cost us games. So again, you live and learn, and going into regionals we won't make that mistake twice."