Lady Wave splits league I-A openers
The Lady Wave had their way with the visiting Spring Creek on Friday although the Spartans found a little spark against the Fallon in the next two sets.
Nevertheless, Fallon easily swept Spring Creek in their Northern Division I-A match 25-16, 25-15, 25-11 at the Elmo Dericco Gym. The Lady Wave, though, fell on Saturday 25-16, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18 against Elko.
“It was good volleyball,” Fallon coach Patty Daum said of the weekend. “It takes us a little while to find that rhythm.”
Against Elko, the Lady Wave were drilled in the first set before coming back to take the second. Evan Matheson, Haylee Paladini, Whitney Skabelund and Krystin Arvizo led the offensive charge at the net.
The quartet was effective in blasting through the blocking attempts of Elko to tie the match at 1. In the third set, however, Elko held off Fallon using its own trio of hitters in Jillian Wright, Emily Elquist and Josalyn Harris.
The three found holes in the defense, while Fallon’s hitting and passing games slipped in the final two sets. Serving errors, which totaled 13 against Elko, were costly and allowed the Indians to pull away.
“We still had mental errors,” Daum added. “They were fewer, but we still had errors that are costing us points at crucial times. They are not as extreme as they have been in the past.”
Against Spring Creek, Fallon jump-started the second set with a 3-0 lead before Spring Creek tied the score on a forced error, Trisha Eleson’s hard smash off a Greenwave player that rolled out of bounds and Kaylee Snow’s well paced cross court return that sailed just inside the backcourt line.
Fallon then committed two more errors that allowed Spring Creek to take its only lead of the set.
Kyla Kincaid’s serving re-energized the Wave as they the tied the set at 5 and outscored the Spartans 10-2. The Lady Wave controlled the net with its front line of Arvizo, Matheson and Paige Thorn. Matheson gave Fallon its second lead of the set with Taser-directed kill that ricocheted off two Spring Creek players. She also had several more key returns in Fallon’s run.
Matheson had seven of Fallon’s 25 kills.
The Spartans’ hurt themselves with errant returns against Fallon, but Spring Creek finally got on the board again when Maddie Peterson recorded a nice block, and Snow nailed a solid return that bounced off a Greenwave player near the sideline.
Spring Creek narrowed Fallon’s lead to 16-10 before the Lady Wave closed out the set with a 9-5 flurry.
Spring Creek had another good block from Snow during the final stretch.
As with the second set, Spring Creek and Fallon played neck-and-neck in the final game. Fallon opened up the set with a 2-0 lead but the Spartans took advantage of four Fallon mistakes.
Kincaid, who had three service points for the match, frustrated the Spartans with her serving and edged Fallon to tie the set with an ace that blew past the back row.
“I thought our level of play was there,” Daum said of the Spring Creek match.
Combined with difficulty in returning serves or returns, the Spartans began to fall further behind the Wave.
Kincaid and Megan McCormick each took advantage of the Spring Creek middle with a pair of kills, and Taylor Amezquita’s two-handed push fell inside the left sideline for an 11-7 Fallon lead.
The Wave routed the Spartans with a 14-4 run to close the set. Spring Creek’s problem rested with its inability to return service points back to the Fallon side on five straight points for the Wave. The Spartans recorded two points on Peterson’s kill and Eleson’s ace.
Once Fallon broke the serve, the Lady Wave and especially Matheson put the Spartans away with a pair of kills and a soft return.
After spotting Spring Creek a 2-0 lead in the first set, the Greenwave tied the score and then surged ahead to dominate the Spartans. Matheson and McCormick controlled the middle with help from Arvizo. Kara Kinsman, though, provided some offense for the visitors with three service points.
Paladini and Matheson frustrated the Spartans in the middle, while Amezquita recorded five successful serves to allow the Wave to pull away again.
Matheson also led Fallon with a pair of blocked shots while Paladini had one.
“I like the way we played, we just have to work on those unforced errors,” Daum said. “We came away with a split and I see this team getting better. At the end of the season, we want to be at our peak. They are unselfish and take care of each other.”
Steve Puterski and Steve Ranson contributed to this report.