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Motivational has its highs and lows for Warrior runners

WHS Xcountry

Chad Gerken ran to an 11th-place overall finish, anchoring the Whittell High Warrior cross country team’s third-place result in Friday’s Mountain Motivational meet in Tahoe City.

“They looked really good,” Warrior coach Brian Rippet said. “Their goal was to get a trophy and they did.”



Gigantic trophies were handed out to the top three schools and while Whittell did bring home the hardware, it wasn’t as simple as it sounded.

With Gerken’s 11th place, Brian Beebe’s 16th, Ben Johnson’s 20th and Jarret Guajardo and Daniel Wines also running strong, the boys were pretty confident they had a good chance at a trophy.



However, when the top three teams were announced, the Warriors were not. Looking down the results page, they were listed as incomplete.

“When they announced the winners, I knew something was wrong,” Rippet said.

As it turned out, Gerken was marked down as a runner from another school, thus only giving Whittell four runners and an incomplete status.

But after a quick investigation, everything was sorted out and the Warriors received their coveted trophy. Lowry (first) and Rite of Passage (second) were awarded the other two.

“When they got back from their cool-down run, we had the trophy waiting for them,” Rippet said. “They were pretty stoked.”

The boys win was also enhanced by the strong JV running of Abe Greenspan and Mike Komorowski, who finished 10th and ninth in their respective races.

The girls side saw Christina Arana finish fifth overall after taking a nasty spill earlier in the race.

Up next for the Warriors is Friday’s Highlander meet in Incline Village.

WHS Boys Soccer

Justin Haynes scored goals in both of Whittell High’s home games, as the Warriors beat Lovelock 1-0 Friday and drew 2-2 with Lowry Saturday in Nevada 3A soccer in Zephyr Cove.

Battling in a scoreless draw against Lovelock, Haynes was able to get free of the defense when Nestor Flores launched a ball high over the Mustang back line. The ball was collected cleanly by Haynes. After going one-on-one with the keeper, he slid the game-winning ball in on the right side.

“That was perfect,” Warrior coach Steve Maltase said. “It hit right off the inside of the post and went in.”

With the momentum of Friday’s 1-0 result behind them, the Warriors took the field again Saturday looking for more good things against Lowry .

After dropping a goal early in the first half, Haynes was able to get on the board again, tying the score at 1 going into halftime.

But the Lowry Buckaroos wouldn’t go quietly, scoring midway through the second half and leaving the Warriors chances of getting a good result in limbo.

However, Nestor Flores was able to prevent a Warrior loss by putting in a late goal, securing a 2-2 draw.

“It’s nice to have Nestor help us like that,” Maltase said. “But we can’t rely on him all the time. It’s important for the rest of the guys to step up.”

STHS Tennis

With their two top seeded doubles teams clicking, the visiting South Tahoe High boys tennis team (4-0) defeated the Douglas Tigers (2-1) 13-9.5 in Nevada 4A tennis Thursday in Minden.

The dynamic duo of Parker Alexander and Garrett Moulton continued their successful run, defeating their opponents 6-0, 6-1 and 6-2.

“They are getting better as a team each week,” Viking coach Pat Fagen said. “They are working really hard in practice.”

The second0seeded doubles squad of Jason Schmedes and Mikey Ledesma also put up solid victories of 6-4 and 6-3, with their only loss coming 3-6 to Douglas’ top seed.

“They’re contributing points, too, and that’s exactly what we need,” Fagen said.

On the singles side, junior Chris Fillipko won two of his three matches (7-6 and 6-1) while Corrie Lindsy swept his matches 7-5 and 6-0.

“The team is coming along,” Fagen said.

With tough matches this week against Reno on Tuesday and Manogue on Thursday, the timing is right for the Vikings.

Kate McConnell and Larissa Larue each won two singles matches, but their success wasn’t enough as the South Tahoe High girls tennis team lost at Douglas 17-5 1/2 on Thursday.

“We had a lot of close matches,” said STHS coach Sabrina Zalles.

The girls played really well and to their ability levels. They put a lot into their matches, but Douglas is a good team.”

McConnell won her matches 6-3 and 6-4, while Larue pulled through in two tight matches, 7-6 and 6-4.

“Kate was moving well on the court and getting her serves in and her return of serves,” Zalles said.

Doubles partners Kelly Haslam and Shauna Hixenbaugh provided the Vikings with their remaining points, winning 6-2. The duo nearly upset Douglas’ top seed as well, taking a 3-0 lead, but the Tigers rallied for a 6-4 win.

STHS (2-2) travels to North Tahoe on Tuesday.

STHS soccer

The South Tahoe Viking girls soccer team controlled the ball from the opening whistle en route to a 3-0 victory over the visiting North Valleys in a Nevada 4A match Saturday at South Tahoe High School.

“We were really connecting on our passes,” Viking coach Julia Russell said. “Every game our passing and control gets better.”

After peppering the Panther goalkeeper with eight shots in the first half without coming up with a score, the Vikings remained calm.

Three minutes out of the break, the Vikings turned up the intensity a notch when Jenn Galea blasted a shot past the keeper for a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later, Galea got her second goal when she received a nice crossing pass from the foot of Lindsey Hitt.

“That was beautiful,” Russell said. “It was a textbook cross and finish.”

Hitt wrapped up the scoring in the 69th minute when she buried a shot, which came off a cornerkick by Diana Higman.

On the boys side, an offensive explosion led to six goals as the Vikings easily rolled over the Gators 6-2.

The Lady Vikings will look for continued success today when they take on Reno at 3:30 p.m. at South Tahoe Middle School, while the boys will take on Reno Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

WHS Volleyball

In an epic battle of speed over size, the Whittell High volleyball team emerged the victors 10-15, 17-15, 15-7 and 15-10 over the visiting Lovelock Mustangs in a Nevada 2A match Saturday in Zephyr Cove.

“This was a three-hour monster of classic side-out volleyball,” Warrior coach Dan McLaughlin said.

After dropping the opening game, the Warriors were finally able to answer the hard hitting of Mustang Lisa Christopherson, who’s high-flying athleticism dropped 20 kills on the Warriors.

“We had to play excellent defense and kept chipping away at them,” McLaughlin said. “In the end, it was defense that won this game.”

The defense was led by Alicia Thorne and Whitney Gielow who were able to dig balls out and save points for their team.

“They were the difference on defense tonight,” McLaughlin added.

Once again, the trio of Jessica Purdy, Erin Silver and Shelly Zaskoda played out of their heads.

Silver had a great game with 24 kills, eight points, two aces and four blocks.

“She plays above her head every time she’s out there,” McLaughlin said.

The Warriors will take this week off, but will pick up next Tuesday when they travel to Fernley.


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