Warriors win third straight regional title | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Warriors win third straight regional title

Paul Andrew

ZEPHYR COVE – The Whittell Warriors’ volleyball team once again swept through the Northern 2A Regional Tournament, thus earning the No. 1 seed at this week’s 2A state tournament in Las Vegas.

Displaying a powerful offense and a stifling defense, the Warriors defeated Silver Stage in the semifinals, then Lovelock in the title game en route to their third consecutive zone championship on Saturday at Whittell High School. Whittell swept both opponents.

“Our girls played very loosely and with confidence,” said coach Dan McLaughlin. “Lovelock is a very good team, but we just had too many weapons.”

In the championship match against the Mustangs, seniors Katie Komorowski, Sarah Ingenluyff, Christina Richardson, Meri Johnson and Katrina Kacirek all contributed in their last volleyball games in front of their home fans. Behind the serving of Ingenluyff and the dominating net play of Kelly Karmann, the Warriors made few mistakes in a 25-14 first-game victory.

Lovelock’s defense tightened in the second game, but the Mustangs just didn’t have an answer for Jessica Woods’ powerful spikes at the net. Sophomore Jordan Reeder finished off the battle with consistent serves, giving Whittell at 25-17 win in the second game.

Relentless Lovelock fought hard in the third game, battling hard to take a 12-11 lead behind a tight defense. The Warriors, though, took control from there, reeling off eight straight points behind Kelly Karmann’s smashing serves and the dominating net play of Komorowski. The power of Whittell was too much as it finished the sweep with a 25-18 win.

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Woods finished the match with 16 kills, three service points and three digs, Karmann six kills, six service points, five digs, while Kacirek added two kills, six service points, two digs with Ingenluyff contributing 13 service points.

“Lovelock played a great match,” said Ingenluyff, the team’s primary setter. “We would love to play them again in Las Vegas for the state championship.”

As the team assembled for a team picture with yet another trophy, the five seniors reflected on their successful volleyball careers at Whittell. Though satisfied with this championship, the icing on the cake will be finishing their careers with a third straight state title next week in Las Vegas.

Warriors play reserves in sweep of Silver Stage

Kelly Karmann opened the semifinal match against Silver Stage with a school record 21 straight service points, eclipsing the previous record of 15. Megan Esquivel served the final points in a dominating 25-4 win.

In game two, coach Dan McLaughlin freely substituted, though the powerful Whittell machine didn’t skip a beat. Behind the strong net play of Kendra Koskin, and the defense of Ashley Amaral, the Warriors took the second game 25-14.

Alana Mozley’s strong serving helped Whittell start the third game on a roll. The Nighthawks, however, showed resiliency coming back to tie the game at 19. The Warriors, who never seemed to get bothered by pressure, turned on the jets to win the third game 25-20 for the sweep.

Esquivel finished with four kills, eight service points and a block, Mozley three aces and two digs, Meri Johnson six kills, five service points and two digs with Koskin contributing four kills in the sweep of Silver Stage.

Lovelock outlasts Battle Mountain

In the other semifinal, the Lovelock Mustangs overcame a 26-24 first game loss against Battle Mountain to win the tight four-game match against the Longhorns. Every game of the match was extremely close, as the Mustangs battled to squeak out their victory over the tough Longhorns, 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23.