Tigers sweep Vikings
Living up to their namesake, the Douglas Tigers showed up for Tuesday’s Nevada 4A volleyball contest with South Tahoe High, sporting the eye of the Tiger in their 15-5, 15-3, 15-5 defeat of the Vikings at South Tahoe High School.
“I thought the girls played really well,” Tiger coach Kira Laden said. “They’re playing really relaxed and confident and I like that.”
In a game that could’ve pulled South Tahoe (7-3) even with the division- leading Tigers (8-1), the Vikings simply could not pass well enough to control the ball for an extended period of time.
“It’s a matter of passing the ball and not being afraid,” Viking coach Gary Hankoff said. “We got totally served off the court. We’d miss their serve and they’d side out.”
Missing from the Viking lineup was standout power hitter Jessica Dilegame, who was nursing a sprained ankle suffered in their last game at Reno.
“That’s a lot of offense (lost),” Hankoff said of Dilegame’s absence. “But, of course, today it wouldn’t have mattered considering the way we passed.”
While the Vikings struggled to get things going with their offense, Douglas produced results.
Led by setter Brittany Addeo’s 25 assists, the Tigers were able to move the ball around to their athletic outside hitters.
Chelsey Myers led the Tigers with nine kills, while Cheryl Nicoll chipped in with five of her own.
“Cheryl did a great job swinging tonight,” Laden said. “She had a ton of kills down the line and was doing a real nice job passing for us, too.”
For the Vikings, setter Jessica Urreaga had another great night, cracking six kills along with 14 assists.
“Jessica did a nice job,” Hankoff said. “She made some plays and her defense really stepped up a lot.”
Another bright spot for the Vikings was the continued solid play of outside hitter Rachael Hankoff, who led all players with 12 kills.
“She’s a smart hitter,” Hankoff said. “She was hitting lines, hitting angles and hitting the hole in the block. I can’t say enough about her right now.”
While the defeat obviously didn’t sit well with the Vikings, they are still clinging to second place by a half of a game over the Carson High Senators. But that lead will be challenged, as the Vikings and Senators will do battle Thursday night at South Tahoe High.
Coach Hankoff knows these are important games as the season is winding down toward the zone tournament, he just hopes the girls can step up and play the game they’ve proved they’re capable of.
“For whatever reason this team still gets a little bit of the ‘deer in the headlights’ against the good teams,” he said. “We can play with anybody, but we just have to pass the ball better.”
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