Truckee Wolverines pull away from stubborn Lowry
Truckee defeated Lowry in four sets Saturday in the semifinal round of the Northern 3A Girls Volleyball Tournament to advance to the championship round.
The Wolverines won the championship against upset-minded Dayton, while the Lady Bucks ended their season with an overall record of 11-17.
Truckee won the first two matches — 25-18 and 25-22 — before the Lady Bucks breezed through the third set, 15-25. The Wolverines, undaunted by their third-set loss, held off Winnemucca in a hard-fought fourth set, 26-24.
Humboldt County, though, injected some excitement into their quarterfinal game against Truckee in the final two sets.
The Wolverines grabbed the early lead, 8-5, with heads-up play at the net from Kelly Cross with her blocking and a kill down the middle of the court and the outside play of Maia Dvoracek, who recorded two kills including a cross-court return.
Lowry, though, began to pull away due to its serving. Kylie Sappington stepped in to deliver eight service points including four aces as the Lady Bucks led 20-11. Hannah Hillyer was a threat at the net as she blocked two returns and had a kill, while Truckee committed three unforced errors.
The fourth set became a cat-and-mouse chase that saw Truckee rally in the latter stages for a two-point win.
During the first half of the set, the lead changed three times as Truckee labored for a 15-12 lead.
Dvoracek began the set with a kill, while Lowry relied on Hillyer’s blocking. The difference came from serving, though, as the Wolverines’ Sara Gran-Nillson recorded four serving points. Lowry received help from Sappington as she served well.
The set went back and forth with two lead changes as Lowry built a 24-21 advantage. Madison Montero and Brittany Jacaway team up for a block that pushed Lowry within one point of winning its second set.
Truckee stormed back, though, as Lowry committed three straight errors, and Dvoracek’s kill that the Lady Bucks couldn’t handle sealed the win for the Wolverines.
Truckee dominated Lowry in the first set by racing out to a quick 6-2 lead as Dvoracek was on fire with two kills and a block. Lowry chipped away at the lead, trailing 8-6 before the Wolverines began to pull away again behind Anika Penrose’s three service points and Dvoracek’s steady hand from the outside, who had three kills down the stretch including another cross-court sizzler.
Lowry gave Truckee all it wanted in the second set. The Wolverines led 19-13 before the Lady Bucks rallied to tie the set on Hillyer’s play in the middle, and a kill from Sappington. Tailor West’s serving ace tied the set at 20. Lowry led 22-21 after Jadyn Eastman returned a shot down the right side, but the Wolverines had a pair of kills from Dvoracek and one from Ryleigh Hogland to score the final three points for the win.
Lowry coach Brandon Eastman said he was pleased with his middle blockers and cited the play of Hillyer and Madison Montero.
“They gave us a lot of chances to get to the balls” he said.
He said Lowry came out with a specific game plan, trying to slow down the pace of each set. Eastman, though, said the final two sets were exciting games.
“We played just as well as any other team,” said the first-year coach. “It came down to a couple of points.”