South Tahoe volleyball opens season at home, swept by Wooster
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A young South Tahoe volleyball team experienced growing pains in its season opener. The Vikings were swept by Wooster (Reno, Nev.) 7-25, 23-25, 20-25 at the Blue Gym on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in a defeat characterized by inexperience.
“We learned what we have to do, and now we have a pretty good idea of where we have to go,” Vikings head coach Dan McLaughlin said.
South Tahoe (0-1) struggled in the first set of Tuesday’s loss before showing resolve in a pair of close frames. Wooster (2-3) scored the first four points of the match, then used a 12-0 run to take a commanding 23-4 lead en route to easily capturing the opening set.
“There’s no reason in the world why we shouldn’t have been blown out of every game, but we weren’t,” McLaughlin said. “We had a chance to win games two and three if we just could have converted some simple things.”
The Vikings opened the scoring in the second set on a kill from outside hitter Korinne Bricker, setting the tone for a back and forth frame. South Tahoe fell behind the Colts 15-8, but rallied to tie the set with an 8-1 run capped with a kill from setter Zoe Mosedale.
Wooster jumped back in front with five straight points, and held off a South Tahoe rally to grab a two-set lead. The Vikings held off three straight set points — including one on a kill from outside hitter Paige Naccarato — but eventually lost the set on a net violation.
In the third set, South Tahoe matched Wooster but couldn’t avoid the sweep. The Vikings raced out to a 4-1 lead and stayed within four points of the Colts before the visitors pulled away.
South Tahoe pulled within one at 20-19, but didn’t get closer than that as Wooster scored five of the next six points. The Colts secured the victory and the sweep with a block.
“Wooster is a very scrappy team; they’re very athletic and it’s a good team to play and get ready [for league],” McLaughlin said.
In the loss, middle hitter McKenna Brewer finished with a team-high five kills to go along with one block. Naccarato and outside hitter Novel Moses each had three kills while Louisa Stelzriede added two. Defensively, libero Kaitlynn Watson had a team-high 13 digs along with two assists.
South Tahoe finished with 14 kills and 36 hitting errors against Wooster to go along with one block, the sign of a team that returns only two starters from last season. Positives in the defeat included serving and passing. The Vikings averaged a 2.0 on its pass attempts, which meant players typically had two options after the initial pass.
“We’re a tough serving team and a good passing team,” McLaughlin said. “If we can convert more hitting and get the ball in the court more, we’ll get better.”
South Tahoe returns to action Friday, Sept. 11, when it opens Div. I-A Northern League play at home against Elko. First serve at the Blue Gym is scheduled for 6 p.m.