Area teams set for state event
As the two-time defending NIAA 3A State champion, the Yerington High volleyball team has had a bullseye on its chest all season.
And the rival that’s been firing the most bullets at the Lions has been Truckee, who has been denied the state title by Yerington. The two schools will be favored to meet again this weekend for the state title, with the Wolverines expected to receive one more chance at Yerington, thus denying the Lions at acheiving a three-peat.
But Dayton is also in the NIAA 3A State Championships and won’t be conceding anything when it opens in the semifinals against Yerington. Another area team heading to state this week is the Galena boys soccer team, who will play in the NIAA 4A State event.
YERINGTON VS. DAYTON, 10:40 A.M. FRIDAY AT DAMONTE RANCH
The winner of this match will play the winner between Moapa Valley and Truckee at 10 a.m. Saturday at Damonte. Moapa and Truckee will play at 9 a.m. Friday.
Yerington has won all three matches against Dayton this year, sweeping the Dust Devils in three games at home and in last week’s Northern 3A semifinals at Truckee. But Dayton was able to win one game from the Lions at home before Yerington won in four games.
Yerington beat Truckee in five games last week for the Northern 3A crown. “I think it’s going to be fivers,” said Yerington coach Anna Aiazzi about another potential matchup with the Wolverines. “There’s no real pattern. It’s been inconsistent.”
“It’s just been two real balanced teams. I think in the end it’s who makes the fewer amount of mistakes. We both have some hard hitting players.”
But Aiazzi stressed Yerington hasn’t reached the finals, yet. “We never take any team lightly,” said Aiazzi, commenting that she has a great respect for Dayton. “We just have to keep doing what we do against Dayton.”
Aiazzi admitted trying to three-peat has been stressful. “When you’re on top everybody wants you down,” she said.
Yerington is led by arguably the state’s best all-around player in Kayla Lommori and setter Kiara Ross. Those two have received plenty of help from outside hitters Rani Williams, Trinity Thom, Marissa Brinkley and Angela Marraccini, opposite side hitter Dama Cox, defensive specialists Brittany Thomas, Kascia Tognoli, Lyzette Aguilar and Angela Moore, middle blocker Alex Roberts and libero Courtney Clifton.
The Lions have brought up three freshmen for depth in outside hitter Brooke Aiazzi, setter McKenna Lommori and middle blocker Katie Nicholas.
Dayton earned the right to face Yerington by beating Fernley in four games in last week’s Northern 3A third place match.
Dust Devil coach Maren Rice said her team believes it can beat Yerington. “We definitely have hope,” Rice said. “It’s definitely going to be about our defense and defending Kayla and just being able to move.
“This week’s practice was very intense for the girls. I think we have a little bit more faith in our ouselves. It’s nice being the underdog.” But Rice admitted about an upset of Yerington, “That would be incredible.”
With setter Mackenzie Kilty setting up the attack, Dayton relies on middle blockers Alissa Vickers and Andra Pluck, defensive specialist Miriah Collins, outside hitter Amanda Arana, right side hitter Lindsie Cross, main left side hitter Matiah Spencer, libero Hayley Ignatich and Cathie Arias.
GALENA BOYS SOCCER
Galena’s opponent was still being determined today as Eldorado and Clark were playing for the right to be in the state event. The Grizzlies will play either Las Vegas or Clark at 4 p.m. Friday or Bishop Gorman or Eldorado at 6 p.m. Friday in the semifinals at Cimarron-Memorial.
The finals will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cimarron. Galena made it to state for the first time by beating Carson 6-5 in a shootout in last week’s Northern 4A finals.
“I think a better word is relief,” said Galena coach Marco Merlo when asked if he was excited to be going to state for the first time.
And Merlo said he wasn’t worried about not knowing who his team would be playing until just two days before the semifinals. “This point it’s about a little bit of luck and getting the kids to believe,” Merlo said.
“I’m not that concerned about what they have,” Merlo added about his possible opponent. “I’m more worried about getting our kids ready.”
Galena is virtually injury-free with the exception fo Seth Chatterley, who has been bother by a sore knee. “I know he’s going to be all right to go,” said Merlo about one of his offensive leaders.
The Grizzlies have depended on defense all season, giving up just six goals in regulation and overtime the entire year. Along with goalie Max Giesler, Galena has been able to shut down opponents with defenders Max Dugan, Kyle O’Donnell, Chad Carter and David Rubinstein.
“They have been the four rocks for us,” said Merlo about his defenders. “We just rely on solid defense and take our chances we when we get them up front. That’s been kind of our whole deal all year.”