South Tahoe volleyball hangs with league leading Truckee, falls in four sets
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe volleyball team battled a big-time opponent with a big hitter at home Wednesday, Sept. 28. In their first home match in three weeks, the Vikings hung tough before ultimately coming up short.
The Vikings fell to league-leading Truckee in four sets 21-25, 19-25, 25-18, 21-25 at the Blue Gym on Wednesday. The loss ended a six-game winning streak for South Tahoe and kept its rivals undefeated in 3A Northern League play.
“We definitely battled,” Vikings coach Kelly Racca said. “I can see that we’re there — we’re on that bell curve about to hit the top.”
South Tahoe (12-4, 5-2 3A Northern) had an 8-6 lead in the first set before the visitors took control. Truckee (12-5, 7-0) went on a 6-1 run and didn’t trail for the rest of the opening frame to take an early lead.
The Wolverines opened the second set with a kill from Maia Dvoracek as part of a 6-0 run — and stayed ahead the rest of the way. The Cal Poly-bound senior and reigning league Most Valuable Player was a force for the Wolverines throughout the match, turning power into points from the right side.
“In the first and second sets, we were a little bubbly and that’s what stopped us,” said Vikings senior Zoe Mosedale, who finished with 25 assists and three kills. “Once we clicked and realized they were stoppable, we really powered through it — a lot of it was nerves.”
After falling behind by two sets, the Vikings responded in the third. Senior Maya Brosch opened the frame with a kill and South Tahoe didn’t trail the rest of the way — Truckee pulled within two at 15-13, but the hosts reeled off four straight points after a timeout to stay in control.
“We were getting them out of system a lot,” Racca said. “Our game plan was to attack the right side so Maia had to take a second ball and it took her out of swing — when we did that it was great.”
Kills from juniors McKenna Brewer and Novel Moses on consecutive points put the Vikings a point away from taking the third set. On South Tahoe’s first set point Dvoracek unleashed a powerful swing from the left side, and Brosch got under it on the back line.
Brosch’s dig went back over the net in the direction of Dvoracek, who wound up and hit the ball into the net. The Vikings took the set, and were suddenly back in the match after becoming the second team to take a set off of Truckee in league play.
“I was pretty stoked,” Brosch said. “I was back there and thinking, ‘She’s coming to me right now.’ I knew it.”
The fourth set began in back and forth fashion, and the Vikings appeared poised to continue their comeback. With the scored tied 9-9, a communication error allowed Truckee to take the lead and spark a run of five straight points — from there, the Wolverines closed out a seventh straight league victory.
“They were discombobulated and out of sorts,” Racca said. “If we could have just passed and given it to them, we would have had that set too — but we couldn’t do the things on our side we needed to do.”
Moses finished with seven kills, 14 digs and an ace Tuesday while Brosch tallied seven kills, 12 digs and a solo block. Brewer filled up the stat sheet from the middle with six kills, two aces, five digs and two solo blocks.
“It was definitely a step up from other games,” Mosedale said. “We had more connections and our passes were on point.”
Defensively, senior Ashley Bricker had a team-high 20 digs to go along with two kills and two aces. Senior Brynna Hembree finished with nine digs and three aces while sophomore Layne Hembree added three solo blocks and two kills.
For South Tahoe, passing made the difference against the Wolverines. The Vikings passed at a 2.0 in the fourth set — giving the setter two options — compared to a 1.6 average in the three they lost.
“When we pass well, we can run anything we want,” Racca said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
South Tahoe concludes the first round of league play Monday, Oct. 3, when it hosts Fernley. First serve in the Blue Gym is scheduled for 6 p.m.