South Tahoe volleyers roll past Dayton, Hug (Gallery)

South Tahoe senior Maiella Riva smashes a kill Wednesday night against Hug.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Tahoe Vikings volleyers had two spirited matches this week as they countdown the final couple weeks of the regular season and hope to qualify for playoffs.

The Vikings crushed the hopes of the Dayton Dust Devils and their fans on Monday (3-1, 25-23, 25-23, 20-25, 27-25) and then ran through Hug Hawks (3-1, 25-12, 25-23, 23-25, 25-10) on Wednesday, senior night, in front of a rowdy home crowd that savored every winning point.

The Vikings celebrated 10 seniors before the match including Maiella Riva, Elle Sosa, Alexa Kwachak Hall, Sage Smith, Emma Habaradas, Erika Strain, Mikayla Shenkel, Sofia Wagner, Alexi Haven and Ella Long.

“Ten seniors do not come by very often and it has had its highs and lows just like any team,” said Vikings head coach Siramanee Ruchupanai. “These girls have come together so much especially knowing that our season got a little smashed together due to the Caldor Fire. They know that this season is full of lasts and we are currently working very hard to make it to regionals.”

The Vikings started strong and never looked back in beating the Hawks.

Senior Sage Smith serves Wednesday against Hug on a night where South Tahoe celebrated its seniors.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

Riva led the Vikings attack with 12 kills while also serving for an ace, making two solo blocks and 10 digs.

Also for South Tahoe, Wagner had 10 kills and two service aces, Shenkel served 20 times, had two aces and no errors and nine digs, Haven had 22 digs, Smith set up the attackers and served 18 times without an error, Long had five solo blocks and Habaradas had five kills and four assisted blocks.

Against the Dust Devils, Riva had 11 kills, junior Kayla Nunes had 10 and Wagner had eight.

Wagner added four aces while Smith and Riva each had two. The Vikings made just nine service errors in 94 attempts.

South Tahoe celebrates a point won Wednesday against Hug.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

Nunes had four solo blocks and assisted on three others and Long had two solo blocks and four assisted blocks.

Riva led the Vikings with 18 digs and Haven and Smith each had 12.

The Vikings (5-6, 5-4 3A North-West League) next will play at 6 p.m. Friday against North Valleys in Reno. Next week they’ll play Tuesday at Churchill County and return home Wednesday for a match against Wooster.

“We all have been having so much fun this season, and I am definitely going to miss these 10 seniors,” Ruchupanai said. “They have worked so hard and overcome challenges, and risen up during tough games. We face off two of the strongest teams next week and we are focused on getting into those matches with a good mindset and continuing to have fun and work together to accomplish our goals of heading to regionals.”

Senior Alexi Haven gets ready to go for a kill against Hug.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune
Senior Ella Long makes a block and watches it hit the floor Wednesday against Hug.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune


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