Starting off strong
The Lady Wave won its first home match of the season in three sets Thursday — 25-13, 25-18 and 25-19 — against North Valleys.
The match started with the teams evenly matched. The Wave quickly opened to 5-2 thanks to Fallon aces; an out of bounds serve gave the ball to the Lady Panthers, but it quickly returned to Fallon’s possession. The Lady Wave continued opening the score in bursts — while North Valleys kept up, Fallon held its strong lead, cruising to a Game 1 win.
The Lady Wave continued to dominate at the start of the second. Shelbi Schultz’s serves resulted in aces that quickly put the Wave up 5-0 before the ball was turned over. The Lady Panthers added three points before an out of bounds shot surrendered the ball. The back and forth continued as both teams fought for the lead; the Wave persevered, though — in each possession, the Lady Panthers scored one point for Fallon’s three or four.
However, there was a sudden turn around. With Fallon 10 points ahead, a series of errors allowed North Valleys to close the score. The home team rallied, however, and secured a second set win 25-18.
The third set began much like the second as Fallon gained an early lead. North Valleys held on, though, and closed to 9-7. Macie Anderson came to serve and put the Wave to 14-7. The teams began another stalemate with neither gaining an advantage. With the score 20-12, however, another turnaround allowed the Lady Panthers to close the gap. In the end, the Wave pulled ahead and claimed a 25-19 victory thanks to a North Valleys error.
Fallon Coach Patty Daum said it was a good win and all her players played well — each time a player came off the bench they did their job; she added the back row had a strong game. Every player had time in the game and changed out constantly.
“I’m not a coach to run scores up; I don’t believe in that, never have,” Daum said. “If I can get my kids in there I’m going to.”
Daum noted the Wave seemed to check out at the end of the second set, allowing a number of errors to score for North Valley. She said eliminating errors was something to work on throughout the season.
“You can’t afford to have a service error when it’s game point,” she said. “We need to work on the mental part of the game too, but as the season goes along, we’ll just keep getting better and better.”
Anderson said they did better than she thought they would this early. She noted there are still things to work on and improve as the season continues.
“We’re all brand new,” she said. “Not all of us have played together before, so we’re working together to all be one. I think that really showed tonight where we really came together.”
Daum praised Schultz for her game, wracking up 28 assists. The team as a whole hit 15 aces.
Daum could not predict how the season would go. She said they take one game at a time and always work to improve in practice; the team works to build their own skills as well as grow as a team every practice.
The Lady Wave remained undefeated Monday, knocking off its second 4A opponent.
After defeating North Valleys, Fallon shut down Wooster in straight sets — 25-15, 25-18 and 25-18 — in Reno. Fallon (2-0) competes in a two-day tournament in Reno before 3A league play begins next week, when the Lady Wave travels to Sparks Sept. 6 before hosting Spring Creek on Sept. 8.
Anderson, Schultz and Karlee Hitchcock led a balanced attack at the net, each recording five kills, while Taylor Ingram, Journey Martin and Jordan Beyer had five. Hitchcock led the team in serving with two aces, and Gracy Lisanti, Schultz, Ingram, Anderson and Martin each had one. Schultz also had 28 assists.
Anderson, Hitchcock, Beyer and Schultz were a force defensively at the net with Anderson, a senior, recording 10 block assists and one block solo. Beyer, also a senior, had eight block assists and four solos while Hitchcock, a sophomore, had eight block assists and two solos. Schultz finished with nine block assists.
With the quartet handling most of the damage at the net, Martin helped the team defensively in digs with five while Schultz contributed three as Fallon tallied 14 blocks as a team.
The Lady Wave plays in the High Sierra Tournament this weekend — the first game is Sept. 1.
Thomas Ranson contributed to this article.