Galena spikers beat Douglas for zone title |

Galena spikers beat Douglas for zone title

by Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service

Midway through the second game, holding a 17-13 lead and having already stole away the first game with five unanswered points to close it out, the Douglas volleyball team appeared to be well on its way toward reversing the outcome of the 2004 regional and state finals.

But Galena found a way to settle itself down and then grabbed full momentum of the match, rattling of three straight wins to clinch the Northern 4A Regional title Saturday night at McQueen High School with a 24-26, 25-20, 25-18, 25-21 victory.

“We just stepped it up defensively,” Galena coach Teresa Burrows said. “We touched a lot more balls (through the final three games) than we did in the first and I think in the long run we had a little bit more fire power than they did.”

The teams were evenly matched, fighting most points to at least two or three volleys across the net, but Galena simply found ways to put the games away after suffering the setback in the opener.

The Grizzlies grabbed a 24-21 lead and appeared ready to put the opening set away before hitting an errant ball out of bounds to give the serve back to Douglas.

Tiger freshman Riece Steel took over serve and after Katy Marsh set up a Cayla Knapp kill, Steel delivered a perfect serve that slipped just inside the baseline to tie the game back up. Two errors on Galena’s behalf gave the set over to the Tigers.

Douglas built itself a solid lead in the second game and Burrows called a timeout with the Tigers leading 17-13.

Thalia McCann then set up a Julia Mailander kill and Mailander assumed control of the serve.

She then rattled off nine consecutive service points, including four aces, to put Galena in front 22-17.

“Volleyball is very momentous sport to begin with,” Burrows said. “I think when you do get the momentum like that it can be hard to come back from.

“Douglas battled. They are a great team and unfortunately someone had to lose this one.”

Mailander finished with 13 kills and five aces while her sister, Lydia, finished with 11 kills and four blocks. Nancy Burrows chipped in 12 kills for the Grizzlies and McCann assisted on 23 points.

“Lydia, Julia and Nancy, they were firing on all cylinders tonight,” Burrows said.

Douglas was by no means out-gunned in the match, getting 14 kills from Monica Knight, seven from Whitney Estes and six from Dawson Joyce Mendive.

Estes and Cayla Knapp had six blocks apiece, Steel had three aces and Marsh had 27 aces.

The Tigers advanced to the championship with an impressive 25-19, 21-25, 25-5, 25-23 win over Bishop Manogue earlier in the day.

Estes, playing on an injured ankle, recorded 17 kills, Knight added 11 and Joyce-Mendive had 10. Marsh dished out 36 assists, Estes had two blocks, Steel had four blocks and Knapp had three blocks.

Knapp had another four aces, Joyce-Mendive had three and Marsh had two.

Douglas finished its year with a 28-8 record overall. Galena will play in next week’s state championships in Las Vegas.