INCLINE VILLAGE — The Highlanders had to scratch and claw to get past visiting Silver Stage in set No. 2 Friday. Other than that, the hosts were in complete control in their Division III win over the Nighthawks.
Incline defeated Silver Stage in straight sets, 25-18, 27-25, 25-12.
The Highlanders went on to lose in four games at Yerington on Saturday, 14-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-25. Incline then beat North Tahoe in an exciting barnburner, 25-20, 25-22, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12, at home Tuesday.
Against Silver Stage, Incline used strong hitting by Kira Porter and Ronni Flores and solid serving by Sophie Shorin to earn the three-set win.
The Highlanders scored five straight points at the end of the first set to put it away after Silver Stage shaved the lead to 20-18.
The second set was more tightly contested, featuring eight ties and four lead changes. After Incline jumped out to a 7-1 lead, the visitors slowly chipped away until knotting the score at 11. The teams battled back and forth the rest of the way, with Silver Stage leading for the final time at 24-23.
Incline tied the score and then edged ahead 25-24 behind the serving of junior setter Megan Golden. Following a game-salvaging point by the Nighthawks, Incline scored the next two points to end the set, with Golden winning a ball at the net for the final point.
The Highlanders breezed through the third game, taking an early 3-0 lead that swelled to 13-4 after six straight serves by Porter. Shorin served the final four points to close the match.
Porter finished with a match-high 18 kills, while Flores finished with 12 kills and Shorin had eight digs and five service aces. Golden tallied 34 assists and Tina Cruz added four kills. Annika Hansen, Golden and Mia Bibolet each had two kills.
Against perennial power Yerington on Saturday, Porter again led the attack with 13 kills and four blocks. Flores and Hansen had four kills apiece, and Golden finished with 23 assists. Michelle Tokunaga posted a team-high eight digs, and Shorin had six.
Playing shorthanded against North Tahoe, Flores stepped up to record 11 kills and five digs, while Bibolet tallied 10 kills, and Tokunaga had 15 digs. Hayden Schuft had four aces and six digs, Cruz had three aces and six digs, Taylor Binney had six kills, and Hansen and Golden each had four kills.