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Dayton in position to win title

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

One down, one to go.

The Dayton High volleyball team put itself in position to win the school’s first ever 3A state team title in any sport by sweeping Pahrump Valley 25-9, 25-13, 28-26 on Friday at Coronado High in Henderson. The Dust Devils set up what could be an outstanding matchup at 4 p.m. today when they play the 12-time defending state champions in Moapa Valley.

Moapa Valley advanced to the finals by beating Manogue 25-9, 18-25, 25-16, 25-16. Dayton swept Manogue in three games to win the Northern 3A title, but it should be noted that Moapa Valley also swept Pahrump in three games to win its zone crown. So today’s match figures to be an even matchup.

“Moapa’s a better team than Pahrump,” Dayton coach Sondra McMullen said. “They have more powerful hitting. They run a faster offense.”

McMullen said Moapa is also a strong serving team, so her team is going to have be strong in its serve receive to have a shot to win. “We’re going to have to play our best game,” she said. But she also said Moapa is beatable.

Dayton looked to be on its way to a sweep against Pahrump when it led 11-7 in the third game before falling behind 19-14. The Dust Devils still trailed 24-20 when Danielle Rodriguez served for four straight points during a stretch in which Dayton took a 25-24 lead.

“I’m very, very pleased with the first and second games,” McMullen said. “They came out very focused and dominated from the beginning. I don’t know what happened in the third game.”

McMullen did say she was pleased with how her team came back in game three. “Getting down didn’t mentally take ourselves out of the game,” she said. “We fought back. I can’t complain about that.”

Amanda Sbragia’s blocking was one of the keys in game one, McMullen said. She also praised Carey Kytle’s hitting.

“I thought this was one of her better hitting games,” McMullen said. “Of course, everybody contributed.”

Kytle had 12 kills, three blocks and three digs, April Thompson had five kills and five digs, Amanda Ring had three kills, two assists, 15 digs and served for 14 points and two assists, Sarah Connett had four kills, 24 assists, one block and seven digs and served for 10 points and one ace, Sbragia had four kills, eight blocks and one dig, Bridgette Galles had four kills, four assists, three blocks and seven digs and served for nine points, Natalie Malekos served for four points and had five digs and Tricia Moli had two kills and six digs.