Virginia City advances to state volleyball tournament |

Virginia City advances to state volleyball tournament

Darrell Moody
Sierra Lutheran hitter Ciera Schinzing takes aim during the region volleyball tournament.
Courtesy/Rosalie Antonucci |

RENO — Virginia City volleyball coach Dennis Young admits it would have been nice to see a regional championship plaque in a trophy case at the school, but the consolation prize isn’t bad, either.

The Muckers knocked off Coleville in four sets in the NIAA 1 regional semifinals before falling to Owyhee 25-17, 23-25, 20-25 and 23-25 in the championship match Saturday at Wooster High’s Craig Congdon Gym.

The positive is that Virginia City still advances to next week’s state tournament at Faith Lutheran High School. The Muckers will play the Southern Nevada champion on Friday at 2 p.m.

“I don’t have any reason to be upset,” Young said. “We played well all week and I’m proud of the girls. Owhyee is a good team that plays really good defense, and they took advantage of our mistakes. We will go back to practice on Monday, and we are going to work on covering the tip.”

The Muckers used two big scoring runs in the first set to grab the win over the Braves.

With the score tied at 12, the Muckers ran off eight straight for a 20-12 lead. Kori Johnson had an ace and Emily Heinz had a kill. Three points came off rotation issues by the Braves and a couple of hitting errors. After yielding a point, the Muckers scored four in a row thanks to an ace and kill by Chelsea Nevin, to re-establish control.

The teams traded points in the second set. A 7-1 run by VC, led by Heinz’s two kills and three kills and an ace by Nevin, gave the Muckers a 22-20 lead. Thanks to two kills by Cree-Lynn Raining Bird, the Braves went ahead 23-22. VC tied it at 23 on a hitting error, but a kill by Raining Tree and an error by Kaitlin Hames ended the set.

In the third set, Macee McKinney snapped a 19-all tie with two kills. Virginia City cut it to 21-20, but the Braves ran off four straight, three more by McKinney to grab a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Muckers led 10-7 in the fourth set, as Nevin had three kills early on. The Braves went on a 10-1 run for a 17-11 lead, but Nevin chalked up a kill and two stuff blocks in a 10-4 run, tying the match at 21. After a VC error, Nevin had another kill as VC moved ahead 23-22. The Braves closed out the set and match with three straight points.

“She (Nevin) is such a great player,” Young said.

Nevin was much more aggressive at the net in the final set. She had four aces, 18 kills , 10 assists, nine digs and seven blocks.

Sierra Lutheran falls in semifinals

The Falcons, who were impressive on Friday against Wells, were eliminated in the semifinals by Owyhee 18-25, 11-25 and 7-25.

The Falcons were competitive in the first set, but unfortunately not so much in the final two sets.

“We knew what to expect,” Sierra Lutheran coach Tiffany Patrick said. “We prepared to play them all week. I think at some point we gave up.”

Sierra Lutheran fell victim to long scoring droughts in each of the three set, and surprising never led once the entire time.

In the opening set, Sierra Lutheran was tied at 6 after four straight Owyhee errors. The Braves took control with eight straight points for a 14-6 lead, three of the points coming on kills by Gabriella Alvarez. The Falcons did close to three points briefly at 15-12, but the Braves went ahead 19-12 thanks to two kills by Raining Bird.

The second set followed the same pattern. The teams were tied at 2, but the Braves scored 14 of the next 16 points for a 16-4 lead, as Raining Bird served up two aces and the Falcons made eight unforced errors. Charis Wheeler served up three aces to cut the lead to 16-9, but the Braves retaliated with five straight points and a 21-9 lead.

The final set was an ugly one. The Braves opened with a 15-0 run and 18 of the first 19 points. Raining Bird had four kills and two service aces.

“They are not a big-banging team,” Patrick said. “They are a scrappy defensive team. We didn’t do a very good job of covering the tip and we didn’t communicate well. We had three people going after the setter’s ball. We stopped moving and stopped talking.”

Patrick admitted that things snowballed, especially in the third set when the Braves went on their big scoring run to start the game.

Brynna Hansen led the team with 10 digs and she added two kills. Ciera Schinzing led the team in kills with four and Briana Mofhitz-Faieta had four digs and two blocks. Gabby Kale had two kills.