Grizzlies overpower Vikings
South Tahoe High’s volleyball team hoped to challenge for a division title this season and possibly more. On Tuesday, the Vikings got a close look at a team that’s done both.
Defending 4A state champion Galena came to South Shore and left quickly, beating South Tahoe 25-10, 25-17, 25-14 in a nonleague match at South Tahoe High School’s gold gym.
Although the Grizzlies lost seven seniors off last year’s team, they returned Lydia and Julia Mailander. Both were on display against the Vikings. The twin sisters combined for 16 kills and 14 digs, while Lydia Mailander added six blocks and two aces.
“I returned a pretty good nucleus, but we’re still pretty young,” said Galena coach Teresa Burrows. “There’s some talent and skill on this team. I think by the end of the year, once this group has played together longer, we’ll be right there.”
South Tahoe (7-2) also figures to be right there. But if Tuesday’s match was any indication, the Vikings will need to make some adjustments.
Coach Gary Hankoff was without middle Coral Warren and Leanne Debella against the Grizzlies. Both are out with knee injuries and it forced Hankoff to rearrange his lineup.
“We were out of sync tonight,” Hankoff said. “We had to move people around and it just didn’t work. We never got in a rhythm and that hurt us in our passing. I fault the coaching. We really screwed some things up.”
South Tahoe had only 54 kill attempts and its number of unforced errors – both on passing and serves – was in the double digits. Dana Jensen led the Vikings with seven kills and Jessica Bettencourt added six more. The Vikings, though, only had 18 kill attempts from the middle position.
“When the girls passed well and we were in the right positions, we were unstoppable,” Hankoff said. “We just had too many mistakes and unforced errors. You can’t do that against a team like Galena and expect to win. We made Galena look good tonight. There was a lot of confusion out there.”
The Vikings, who play at Fallon on Thursday, never led in either the second and third games.
Hankoff expects Debella to miss several weeks and he thinks Warren could miss significant time pending the results of her MRI. He said he’ll bring up two girls from the JV team for this weekend’s High Sierra Invitational in Reno.
“There’s a lot of season left,” Hankoff said. “We have as much athleticism as any other team. Once we get our lineup where it needs to be, we’re going to be fine.”