Lowry, long delay help sink South Tahoe volleyers
South Tahoe was marching back. Down two sets to one, the Vikings volleyball team grabbed back momentum in game four and led Lowry 22-19 forcing the Buckaroos head coach to call timeout.
The home crowd was back into the match watching the 3A Northern League co-leaders battle.
Lowry won the next point, earned the serve and grabbed the next point.
But apparently Lowry served out of order. After a moment an official awarded South Tahoe the point.
South Tahoe led 23-20 and had a stranglehold on the set. The Vikings were screaming in celebration.
But then all came to a halt.
For the next 12 minutes there was only discussion.
Both officials gathered. A captain from each team joined them. And after several minutes both head coaches joined the huddle.
“That was really frustrating,” said Vikings senior Novel Moses. “We got cold. We didn’t know what was going on or what was going to happen.”
After the discussion was complete, Lowry was ruled to have not served out of order and the point was returned.
“Our score keeper didn’t align with their scorekeeper and they were not happy about that,” said Vikings head coach Kelly Racca. “They’re a good team, they don’t get out of rotation. Just like we don’t. It just became a dispute between what their book said and what ours said.”
The Vikings did not win another point. The Buckaroos reeled off four straight to claim the match 3-1 (25-20, 15-25, 25-20, 25-22).
“We started to get cold. We weren’t as pumped up anymore,” said star senior McKenna Brewer. “I felt like that brought us down a little bit, just waiting.”
Maybe the Vikings should not have been in that position. They had the first set under control early. But it was like watching an arm wrestling match where Lowry slowly turned the tide and applied pressure until the Vikings’ collective hand was pinned.
South Tahoe led 8-3 and 16-12 before Lowry reeled off seven straight points and the Vikings got no closer the rest of the way.
Set two was all Vikings. They ran out to a 10-4 lead on the strength of four consecutive service aces from Moses.
Lowry got to within two, 16-14, but never closer.
Whatever momentum the Vikings had headed into the third set vanished in the blink of an eye.
The Buckaroos jumped out to a 7-1 lead and were gone. The Vikings made it competitive, but couldn’t get closer than four points, 20-16.
“We worked pretty good as a team but I think we need to work more on communication,” said Brewer, who recorded a team-high 14 kills and seven solo blocks. “We came in thinking we could beat this team since we did it in preseason, but we’ll learn from this lesson and come back even stronger.”
The Vikings beat the Buckaroos 2-1 at the Yerington Invitational in preseason.
“We went in underestimating their abilities and, at times, we got really cold and didn’t have our energy up,” said Moses who finished with 10 kills and 24 digs. “It would go from high to low. And that’s not us at all.”
The Vikings (15-4, 4-2 3A North) dropped out of first place and will try to get back into the win column Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Truckee.
“I love playing Lowry,” Racca said. “I knew it would be a battle. They’re scrappy, have great ball control and they kept giving it back to us. We have to outlast and we didn’t. It wasn’t consistent tonight from everyone — you’d see this moment of greatness and then ‘what was that?’ like the ball falling between three people. But we’ll get them next time around at their house. We’ll be prepared.”
Game notes: South Tahoe sophomore outside hitter Sofia Hedqvist missed the game due to trying out for the Swedish national team, Racca said. … Sophomore Tyler Pevenage had 19 assists, Sydney McCarthy added 12, Hailey Naccarato made 28 digs, Teagan Williamson had seven kills, Kaitlyn Racca had three service aces and Jerra McLaughlin had six kills and four solo blocks.