ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. - The volleyball match belonged to the Warriors from the moment Colette Craig stepped on the court and started bombing serves over the net.
The Warriors' setter put up eight unanswered points to open the match against North Tahoe on Wednesday, and Whittell claimed the win in three sets, 25-10, 25-14, 25-13. Craig served up five aces and set more than just her 21 assists. She set a tone.
"She was just whaling on the ball with no fear. She just went after it, trying to break the game open, and she did," North Tahoe coach Mike Welch said. "That's a learning lesson for a lot of athletes, to realize that you've got to go out there and make your opportunities."
Maybe it was Craig's precedent, or maybe it was the new pink jerseys Whittell wore in honor of breast cancer awareness month, but either way the Warriors were making opportunities.
Whittell hit the court with tremendous energy and sharp serves. Better serves were something Whittell coach Nathan Byrne and the girls talked about going into the match. Message received.
Tori Jimenez added another four unanswered service points, and the Warriors captured game one by a 15-point margin. Jimenez recorded six aces on the night.
North Tahoe opened game two with more intensity as Jennay Argiris and Lauren Willson started connecting for kills, but the Warriors' serving shut the fight down.
Whittell pulled out of reach behind seven consecutive service points from Zoe Bertz, and kill after kill from Amanda Harris and Emily Harris. Amanda sliced nine kills and Emily eight in the night as the Warriors took game two.
In game three, the Lakers pulled one point away from Whittell after a crucial kill from Argiris. The momentum was cut short, however, as Whittell again surged ahead for a 25-13 finale.
The Warriors improved to 1-2 in Mount Rose League play, and North Tahoe now sits 0-1 in league. North Tahoe will host Truckee on Friday at 6 p.m.
"I have eight players so we don't really change much. We just hope nobody gets hurt," Welch said. "Our change has to be upstairs because the team I saw yesterday in practice, I really liked. The team I saw today, not so much."