Yerington volleyball downs Truckee for third straight state title
By Charles Whisnand
Nevada Appeal Sports Editor
RENO ” Nobody has really ever been able to define exactly what it means when an athlete is in “The Zone.” And it’s a good bet that nobody ever will.
But if there was ever a player in a place and in a time who was in the zone it came on Saturday morning at Damonte High School when Yerington’s Kayla Lommori put on a display to remember.
To be sure, the entire Lions volleyball team was in a zone as it turned an expected thriller against Truckee for the NIAA Class 3A State Championship into a rout, beating the Wolverines 25-11, 25-17, 25-20 for its third straight title.
“Three-peat, three-peat, three-peat,” the Yerington volleyball team chanted on the court after the match.
Lommori set the tone for the match in the first game with a kill from the back row, another kill , a dink and three straight blocks to give the Lions a 7-3 lead. Move over Sultan of Swat, here comes “Kayla the Krusher.”
The onslaught came during a 13-0 run as Lyzette Aguilar served for 12 straight points during the rally. Aguilar had an ace during the run and Kiara Ross had a dink that made it 15-3.
Angela Marraccini’s kill gave Yerington a 17-5 lead and Alex Roberts had a kill for the Lions that made it 19-7. Rani Williams’ block gave Yerington a 23-10 lead as the Lions rolled to the win in the first set.
In the second game, Truckee overcame a 6-3 deficit to take a 10-9 lead before Lommori took over in a stretch in which she had seven kills and two aces. She served for back-to-back aces at the end of the run to give Yerington a 20-14 lead. Lommori finished the second game with 10 of her 25 kills.
Dama Cox had a kill to give Yerington a 22-16 lead and keep the Lions safely ahead in the second game.
Truckee took an 18-14 lead in the third game, but that just gave Lommori one more chance to take over. Lommori had a kill and a dink and Aguilar had an ace to cut the deficit to 18-17.
Lommori then had two straight kills and Willams had an ace to give Yerington a 20-19 lead. Lommori then had two more kills to give the Lions a 22-20 lead to fittingly put the match in her own hands.
Lommori served for three straight aces that gave Yerington the title. Three straight aces for the three-peat.
“It was just like we were pumped up for Truckee,” said Lommori, who signed on Wednesday to play with Santa Clara. “The whole team wanted to play well.”
While the argument can be made that Lommori is the state’s best all-around player on any level, she deferred to the team when asked to talk about herself.
“I thought the whole team played amazing throughout the match,” she said. “We all played our best match of the year.”
A key to the match was Yerington more than held its own when Lommori was in the back row.
“Alex and Dama stepped up in the front row,” said Lommori about when she was in the back row. “They really don’t need me in the front row.”
And Lommori had a good reason for finishing off the match with three straight aces. “Five games is just too nerve wracking,” she said.
“It feels amazing,” Lommori also said about the three-peat. “We ended on a really good note.”
Yerington coach Anna Aiazzi said the match was simply a case of her team never really maintaining the momentum and a big reason why was the “Purple Wave,” a sizeable Yerington contingent that was boisterous throughout the contest.
“Volleyball’s just all about momentum,” Aiazzi said. “These girls have worked hard and they deserve all the laurels that they’re getting.”
Williams had 13 digs, Lommori had five aces, Cox added four kills and Ross added 30 assists.