Fallon stuns struggling Lowry, sweeps Dayton
LVN Editor Emeritus
Take away the first half of the opening set, and the Lady Wave volleyball team may have played their best match of the year against a formidable league opponent.
Lowry stunned Fallon with nine straight points to begin the match but the Lady Wave stormed back to take the set 25-22 and then battled to 25-20 and 25-17 wins Tuesday at the Elmo Dericco Gym.
Fallon then swept Dayton on the road Friday, 25-17, 25-16 and 25-21, but dropped a home match to South Tahoe on Saturday in four sets. The Lady Vikings won 25-21, 25-21, 20-25 and 25-17.
Fallon improved to 3-8 overall and 3-3 in the Northern 3A. Lowry fell 4-9 overall, 1-6 in league.
Fallon started slowly against the Lady Bucks, who advanced to the state tournament in 2017. The Wave committed seven errors ranging from returns sailing past the out-of-bound lines to a lack of communication in setting up the ball. Two kills, one each from co-captains Andrea Escobedo and Sierra Maestrejuan, pushed Lowry to a 9-0 lead.
After Fallon took a timeout, fortunes began to sway toward the Greenwave.
“I tried to calm them down,” said Fallon coach Patty Daum. “They were OK.”
Once the Fallon players returned to the court, they became more aggressive, finished their passes and played better at the net.
Lowry made one unforced error after another, and Fallon had several good returns to tie the set at 16.
The Lady Bucks also had their problems in returning the ball cleanly, while Fallon relied on middle blocker Madison Whitaker, who had a kill, and Makenzee Moretto’s deception on a kill. Another kill, this time by Rylee Buckmaster, pulled Fallon to within one point, 16-15, before a Lowry mistake tied the set.
Moretto saw extensive action Tuesday in place of Karlee Hitchcock, who suffered a stress fracture last week and will be out indefinitely. Daum said Moretto played well on defense and served well.
The remainder of the set was a see-saw game. Fallon took its first lead on Buckmaster’s two-handed push and an ace served by Shelbi Schultz. Both teams traded points on mistakes, but Fallon fell behind 20-19 before outside hitter Taylor Ingram tied the set with kill. After Fallon and Lowry traded points, Fallon pulled away on libero Journey Martin’s return and Whitaker’s sizzling kill down the left side.
“Taylor had a good game tonight, and Maddie did a great job in the middle, and Buckmaster on the right side,” Daum said.
Fallon never trailed in the second set although Lowry came within a point, 21-20.
The Wave’s momentum from the first set carried over as Fallon raced out to a 12-1 lead.
Schultz gave the Wave some sustained serving as did Kensli Rogne during the Fallon’s run. Schultz and Rogne each had an ace, while Moretto recorded a kill and well-place return between Lowry’s first and second rows, and Whitaker pinpointed several returns.
Lowry put together a 11-4 run aided by Fallon errors and Brooke Hansen’s play in the middle. The Lowry senior had a kill, while Maestrejuan accounted for her second kill in the set. After Fallon was called for a hitting error, Maestrejuan had another kill as Lowry trailed, 16-12. Fallon took a timeout to regroup.
Both teams struggled at the net with unforced errors. Ingram had a kill for Fallon, but Hansen took over with two blocks on one rally and a block that gave the Lady Bucks their 20th point.
Ahead 21-20, Fallon scored the set’s final four points on Ingram’s kill and solid serving from Ashley Agaman, and three Lowry errors — two balls returned in the net and a return that fell out of bounds that gave the Wave the win.
After spotting Lowry to a 3-1 lead in the third set, Fallon tied the visitors on Whitaker’s kill. Fallon’s outside hitting took over as the Wave pulled away for a 7-3 lead capped by Ingram’s kill down the left side.
Isabelle Ozanick serving resulted in two Lowry points, and Maestrejuan nailed a kill. Fallon, though, responded with Whitaker’s cross-court kill, and Rogne leaped high to record another kill. Hansen had a nice play for Lowry when she tipped the ball downward to the court which Fallon couldn’t dig.
Maestrejuan kept Lowry to within four points with two more kills, but Fallon took its largest lead of the set, 22-12. Whitaker frustrated Lowry in the middle with a downward one-handed ill and a one-handed push. Maestrejuan scored Lowry’s final point on a kill, but Fallon had set point at 24-17.
Schultz tip at the net gave the Lady Wave the win and sweep.
Fallon had one of its easiest win against Dayton in at least two seasons. Ingram led Fallon with 13 kills, arguably one of her bet matches of the year. Moretto and Whitaker each had four kills, while Buckmaster finished with three and Schultz with two.
Martin finished with eight digs, and Ingram added seven. Fagg record five digs followed by Agaman with four and Schultz with three. Schultz led Fallon with 20 assists, and Buckmaster had three.
South Tahoe and Fallon battled each other for the first three sets. Schultz had 11 assists against Fallon, while Whitaker led Fallon with seven kills, and Ingram had four followed by Buckmaster and Moretto, each with three.
Agaman’s four aces paced the Wave, and Martin and Fagg each had two. The defense was kept on its toes. Ingram had eight digs, Fagg followed with seven and Martin six.
Daum said the back row had some great passes to Schultz from Fagg, Martin and Ingram.