Fallon tops Lady Spartans, falls to Elko
Elko Daily Free Press
SPRING CREEK — Lady Spartans Volleyball battled it out against the Fallon Greenwave Friday night on Spring Creek’s court.
The Spartans won the first set 26-24. Then Fallon answered back, winning the next three. Scores were tight, though, with the Spartans fighting hard and playing with a tenacious amount of heart.
Spring Creek freshman Kylee Dimick led the Spartans in kills with a combined effort of 12 total across all four sets.
Fallon’s Karlee Hitchcock led Fallon with 11 kills and one ace; Journey Martin and Shelbi Schultz were strong servers with 5 and 4 aces. Spring Creek junior Shaylynn Yaunick had five kills and one ace; junior Matty Kennedy had five kills and senior Elizabeth Armstrong had three kills.
Jordan Beyer led the Wave in defense with 20 blocks while Hitchcock and Macie Anderson tallied 15 each and Elizabeth Williams 10. Spring Creek Junior Alayna Grosz managed to pull off a block into a score in the second set as well.
“Tonight is the best the girls have played this year,” said head coach Kaylene Grosz. “We have been struggling with getting our offense going and everyone contributed to it tonight.
“The team played with more enthusiasm and heart than ever. They fought hard for every point they got and never gave up. I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work.”
Lady Spartans will compete against Fernley Saturday, once again on their home court.
FALLON VS. ELKO
After a three-set win on Sept. 9 in Fallon, many thought Elko would cruise to another easy victory on Saturday at Centennial Gymnasium.
The Lady Wave never got the memo and Elko’s best game never showed up to the contest.
Elko made simple errors on Fallon serves, let softly-hit balls drop into open areas of the floor and fell behind big in the early going.
Fallon built leads of 14-6 and 20-10, rolling to a 25-17 victory in the first set.
The Lady Indians responded with a 25-22 victory in the second set, but Elko was still very much off its game.
One of the main reasons for Elko’s struggles and Fallon’s successes was the fact that the Lady Indians’ middle block was nowhere to be found.
Every time the Lady Indians managed to claw back in the game or take a lead, an error followed.
Miscommunication, or lack of communication altogether, also hurt the Lady Indians — several plays resulting in teammates crashing into one another on the same shots.
Fallon took the third set 25-23 and took a 2-1 lead in the match, placing Elko up against elimination in the best-of-five format.
Facing the possibility of losing and trying to figure out a way to change the flow of the game and outcome of the match, Elko coach Cammie Nelson needed a spark.
Enter Baum in the middle.
“I made a lineup change and moved Lexi to the middle from the outside. Our middle block hadn’t done anything to that point. When Lexi plays well, she is our spark. Everyone follows her lead,” Nelson said.
The tactic paid off in a big way.
Baum made some emphatic swats, adding some kills while using both remarkable power and also well-placed, finesse drop shots.
As Nelson noted, right on key, Elko’s other players settled in mentally but also found a surge of energy and intensity.
The Lady Indians began to show their potential and rolled to a 25-13 victory, forcing a winner-take-all race to 15.
Elko fell behind in the beginning of the fifth set but took a 6-5 lead, extending to a 13-8 advantage.
After winning a point, the match came to a close with a rocket drive by Howe on a crosscourt shot from the left to the right, 15-8 Elko.
Despite playing sloppily for much of the day, Elko finally showed the grit and resolve to win a match it could have easily lost.
Beyer was an offensive leader for Fallon, nailing 10 kills; she also had a strong defense with 18 blocks. Hitchcock also played a strong match with eight kills and 15 blocks. Lorynn Fagg was the Wave’s leading server with five aces.
The Lady Wave travel to Winnemucca Friday. The varsity match begins at 6 p.m.
Adam Robertson contributed to this article