Douglas wins killer of a match
MINDEN – A bunch of girls got together to play some volleyball. And it’s amazing nobody got hurt.
In matchup of possibly the league’s top two teams and rematch of last year’s Northern 4A zone final, Douglas and South Tahoe pounded on each other for five games, with the Tigers coming out on top.
Douglas (6-0 league) outlasted South Tahoe (5-1) in the final game, 17-15. The Tigers won the first and third games, 15-8 and 15-11, while the Vikings took the second and fourth, 15-13 and 15-11.
“This is probably the biggest game of the year. It’s a big, huge step forward and also a relief,” said Douglas senior setter Kaycee Green, who dished out 47 assists.
The Tigers’ LuLu Sewell was the player who delivered Green to the near-50 mark, crushing home a team-high 27 kills. The senior hitter, who recently moved to the right side, was denting the floor from both the front and back rows.
“You want to put it away. End of story, end of point. It’s all your emotion and how to keep the game up,” Sewell said.
Tahoe had its own bomb launcher in senior Adrian Hankoff. The Santa Barbara-bound crusher did her own damage to the Tigers’ hardwood, belting a game-high 39 kills. She even belted one off a Douglas player’s face, a ball that ricocheted back over the net for a Tiger point.
But Hankoff, the league’s defending player of the year, said she was ultimately disappointed in the Vikings outing.
“This meant the same to us as losing the final at zone,” said Hankoff, whose spike at game’s end sailed inches long. “But it came down to which team was better and Douglas was smarter than us. It would’ve been cooler if we’d won. But we’ll bounce back.”
Douglas coach Jennifer DeJospeh said her team exploited what it thought was Tahoe’s major weakness.
“Tahoe honestly has just one player they are going to every time. If you can get points when Adrian (Hankoff) is in the back row, you’ll do fine. They don’t have a lot of strength in other positions, whereas I feel my players have really stepped it up,” said DeJoseph, who felt the win was an emotional lift for the Tigers following their Merced trip. “We’ve been on a bit of a downswing. This team had to recognize it could play with Tahoe, to get a win against a good division team.”
Green also thought the key to stopping Tahoe was neutralizing its one big gun.
“Coming in, we knew their player was Adrian, as I’m sure every player in Nevada knows. When you block her, it gives you so much energy you could conquer the world,” she said.
The Vikings did offer other weapons. Junior Courtney Wilson smacked 13 kills and seven blocks, including six facials in game No. 4. Senior Melissa Maxwell added 11 kills.
But it ultimately didn’t stack up against Douglas’ balanced attack. Senior Rebecca Rippee logged eight kills, while senior Linzy Doherty added five with three blocks. Junior Jessica Granat tallied four kills and five blocks.
“There were some reasons that have been weighing really heavily on the team. But no excuses. We could’ve played a bit better and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” said Tahoe coach Gary Hankoff. “Douglas came after us and we kept giving them opportunities. We’ll be a different team when we play Douglas at home. They’re going to be shocked.”
Douglas also won the junior varsity match, 15-5, 15-13.
Whittell High’s volleyball team got a solid league win over Yerington, 15-12, 15-5, 15-7 on Tuesday in Zephyr Cove.
Warriors coach Dan McLaughlin credited a total team effort.
“We played well in all facets of the game. Everybody had a big part and it’s nice to play the style of ball we need to be successful,” he said.
The Warriors (15-4, 2-1 league) were led by Erin Zaskoda’s seven kills, three blocks and two aces. Aurora Terry had eight kills and four aces, while Karin Kaleta added six kills. Jahna Rico and Shannon McGlothlin each had four aces while Sarah Sufka tossed up 23 assists.
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