Foley leads Dayton past Fallon
FALLON – In Madi they trust.
Madi Foley was money in the bank as she led the Dayton Dust Devils volleyball team to a 20-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-18, Northern Division I-A quarterfinal win over Fallon on Tuesday. The fifth-seeded Dust Devils will face No. 1 Truckee, a 25-11, 25-11, 25-11 winner over No. 8 Sparks, at 10 a.m. on Saturday at South Tahoe.
“I wasn’t sure how it was going to go because I wasn’t sure what team was going to show up,” Dayton coach Monica Halverson said. “It was really good to see them pull together as a team.”
Foley, playing with a back brace after missing the final week of the season with spasms, came alive after Dayton dropped the first set. To Fallon’s credit, the Greenwave attacked Foley to limit her chances in the first game.
The Lady Wave raced out to an early 13-6 lead and held on despite a sloppy service game. Fallon recorded at least 12 service errors for the match and two in the final 10 points of the first set. Dayton, however, matched Fallon’s futility at the service line and ended with more than 10 errors for the match.
“We’ve been working a lot, mentally, with our serving,” Halverson said. “That first serve is crucial. We need to cut that in half if we are going to compete with Truckee.”
Nevertheless, Foley exploded in the second set as Dayton’s offense came alive using the junior outside hitter as a focal point. Foley, though, had help as junior outside hitter Ashley Vickers provided a solid second option for senior setter Alyse Fletcher.
The two hitters penetrated Fallon’s front line, which dominated the opening set behind the blocking of Mary Scholz, Cady Cordes, Tyrie Nunes and Mackenzie Dahl.
Foley, though, broke a 5-5 with consecutive points on her serve including an ace before lobbing a serve out of bounds. Dayton, though, were the benefactors of several questionable calls including an apparent six-hit point to extend the lead to 15-10.
Foley’s blast went into the top of the net and bounced back, but the official ruled Fallon had blocked the shot.
Cheyenne Strong put Dayton up 23-20, but after consecutive aces from Cordes to cut the lead to 24-23, Foley pounded home the game winner.
It was more of the same in the third set as the Dust Devils jumped out to a 15-10 lead after an ace and kill from Foley. After trading service errors, Foley closed out the set with an ace and thunderous spike.
“We kind of separated throughout the season and are finally coming back together,” Foley said. “That first game was kind of a mess because we were all out of sorts.”
In a tense fourth set, fireworks showered the court after Fallon coach Patty Daum exploded on another questionable call.
Fallon setter Ali Tedford was called for a back row block to give Dayton a 12-9 lead. Tedford, however, never jumped – let alone cleared the net – and Peach Coons tip glanced off Tedford, who stood with her arms raised at the net.
A back row block is when a back row player, such as Tedford, clears the net for a block. The official made the call and Daum screamed in protest and drew a yellow card.
Instead of 12-10 and serving, Fallon trailed 13-9 and could not recover. Foley scored six of Dayton’s next eight points as the Dust Devils took a commanding 18-11 lead.
Vickers extended the lead to 21-11 on a deflected spike and Foley closed out the match with a pair of kills.
“I was kind of careful in the first set because I really didn’t want to hurt myself,” Foley said. “But then I kind of let it go and played.”