Tale of two days for Warriors, Vikings at High Sierra tournament | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tale of two days for Warriors, Vikings at High Sierra tournament

Jeremy Evans

Last weekend’s High Sierra Invitational was the first competitive tournament for the Whittell and South Tahoe volleyball teams. Although the Vikings won the Lowry Classic last month, they didn’t face the demanding schedule as they did this past weekend in Reno.

“We didn’t have patty-cake teams in this tournament,” said coach Gary Hankoff. “We had some games in the Lowry tournament where we won some games on serves. We faced some good competition at this one.”

South Tahoe finished 14th out of 24 teams by taking second in the King’s Division, while Whittell took 18th by winning the Queen’s Division at the tournament hosted by Galena, Bishop Manogue and Damonte Ranch.

The Warriors went 5-3 and beat Reedley 25-13, 22-25, 15-13 in their division championship game. The Vikings were 4-3 and lost to Ponderosa 20-25, 21-25 in their division title game. Whittell, the two-time defending 2A state champion, won all three of its pool play games on the opening day on Friday but grew tired by Saturday afternoon.

“We weren’t playing better teams on Saturday. We just couldn’t play the game correctly,” said coach Dan McLaughlin. “We were too tired and didn’t have any energy. We were just flat-footed. We didn’t have any life in us.”

The same scenario developed for South Tahoe, which went 1-2 in pool play on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday. One of its pool play losses was to eventual champion St. Francis of Sacramento, which went on to beat St. Ignatius in the Ace’s Division championship game.

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“I think we just ran out of gas,” Hankoff said. “It was a lot of games and not a lot of breaks in between games. But we got to play against good competition. We didn’t have any easy games and that’s what I wanted out of it.”

On Friday, South Tahoe lost to Woodcreek and St. Francis, then beat Homestead 25-22, 25-20. On Saturday, the Vikings beat Enterprise 25-23, 25-19, McQueen 25-20, 25-15 and Golden Valley 25-22, 21-25, 15-11 before losing to Ponderosa in their final game.

On Friday, Whittell beat Ponderosa 25-17, 25-14, Damonte Ranch 25-13, 25-13 and Rio Americana 25-15, 25-9. On Saturday, the Warriors lost in two games to Nevada Union, which placed second at the California Interscholastic Federation Division I tournament last year. Whittell then lost to Bishop Manogue and Live Oak in three games and beat McQueen 25-15, 24-26, 15-13 before its win over Reedley.

“The scores give you an idea of how we were two different teams on Friday and Saturday,” McLaughlin said. “The Nevada Union game is really one we’d like back. They’re a good team and we played them tough.”

Jessica Woods finished with a team-high 51 kills and 30 digs in Whittell’s eight matches. Kelly Karmann added 39 kills, Katrina Kacirek had 28 and Jordan Reeder had 24. Woods, Karmann, Reeder and Christina Richardson each delivered six aces, while Sarah Ingenluyff, who was battling flu-like symptoms throughout the tournament, finished with seven aces and 126 assists.

The Warriors (8-3) play at Fallon tonight and then travel to Las Vegas for the Durango Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday. South Tahoe (12-5) plays at Damonte on Tuesday, at Reno on Thursday, then hosts a match against Oakmont on Friday.