Lady Wave volleyball overcomes their rut |

Lady Wave volleyball overcomes their rut

Mike Sciandra
Faith Cornmesser, left, and Haylee Paladini wait for Sparks' return during Wednesday's D1-A volleyball match.

The Lady Wave volleyball team is beginning to look like its old self again, beating the Sparks Railroaders 3-0 on Wednesday, winning the first set 25-14, the second, 25-12, and the third, 25-23.

The Lady Wave is 14-11 overall and 7-5 in D1-A, while the Railroaders are 3-13 overall and 0-10 in D1-A.

The win is welcomed since senior Miranda Ford was injured in an automobile accident last week along with three other students from Churchill County.

“The last two weeks have been pretty emotional,” Fallon coach Patty Daum said. “Our goal is to get her (Miraanda) here for senior night. Like I said, these last two weeks have been really emotional. We’ve had to really do a lot more than the game of volleyball.”

Nonetheless, in Ford’s absence the Lady Wave still performed well against the Railroaders.

Fallon took the first lead at 1-0 when Haylee Paladini opened with kill.

Thereafter, the Railroaders served up three straight points, including an ace that gave them to a 4-1 lead.

Paladini and Wave senior Megan McCormick, however, had back-to-back kills that brought it 3-4.

Sparks kept the lead for a minute due to some forced errors on Fallon’s behalf, but after three aces from Whitney Skabelund, the Wave took a well-paced lead, 9-7.

After two impressive kills by Wave players Faith Cornmesser and Kayla Buckmaster, Fallon led 16-9, Skabelund then served her fourth ace of the set.

McCormick’s next kill, after minimal errors and surging ahead, brought the Wave 21-11, followed by an ace by Wave captain Taylor Amezquita.

With one final kill from Skabelund, Fallon took the first set 25-14 with five points earned by Skabelund and three solo points each to Paladini and McCormick.

Despite beginning with consecutive out-of-bounds serves by both Fallon and Spark, the second set was similar to the first.

Amezquita was put back into serving, but a tip by Sparks at the net upped the score, 2-1.

Paladini’s first kill of the set tied it at 2-2, followed by a kill by Skabelund and an ace by Paladini when she took a turn to serve for a 4-2 lead.

Sparks touched two Wave serves that would have sailed out of bounds for a 6-2 score until they finally let the Wave back into the set, 6-4.

Two short serves by Sparks and an impressive net game gave Fallon a 10-5 lead in no time, thanks to several tips over the net by Paladini, slower to the gaps to throw off the girls.

One impressive kill by Kaitlyn Hunter, a sophomore playing her first varsity match with the Wave, sent the girls ahead, 13-6.

“Kaitlyn did well,” Daum said later after the match. “She’s adjusting very quickly, and I’m pretty pleased with her. She can play the right side, and she can play actually anywhere. I’m really pleased with what she is.”

A few short serves followed by some forced errors let Sparks slowly gain some ground, but only to 12 points until the Wave resumed strong at the net, 18-12 after Sparks served out of bounds.

Three net errors by Sparks let the Wave up to 21-13 after a kill by Kayla Buckmaster.

Two out of bounds blocks by Sparks brought the Wave to the set point, and the Wave took the second set 25-12 after Sparks missed a tip over the net.

The third set was one of the closest the Wave has played in weeks.

The Wave brought in four of their starters and two backups, and Sparks took the first point by a tip over the net.

Sparks would have the early lead, and Fallon would be playing catch-up for most of the match, but never by more than two points due to Sparks’ service errors and impressive blocking by LeAnne Stands and Buckmaster.

It took a lot of excess touches on Sparks’ behalf for Fallon to close to a 21-21 tie, and even then a Sparks’ error would bring them ahead of it briefly before Wave captain Kyla Kincaid narrowly missed on a dive, and the score was tied 22-22.

After one last ace by Sparks, 23-22, a Sparks’ out-of bound serve tied it up, and Buckmaster’s kill gave the Wave a lead of 24-23 for the match point, which was won on an error from Sparks at the net.

The Wave took the set 25-23 and won the match 3-0, though Daum admitted afterward she was disappointed in the third set.

“We didn’t stay focused that third set,” Daum said. “We just checked out several times during the game. But you know, again, you walk away and hopefully learn things that you did well and things that you didn’t do well and you try not to make those mistakes again.”