Warriors knock off third Nevada 4A team
FALLON – Whittell’s volleyball team is quickly becoming one of the giant killers of the Northern 4A this season. With wins over Carson and McQueen already this season, the Warriors added one more foe to their resume Tuesday night in Fallon.
After dropping the first set 25-21, Whittell took the next three games 25-16, 25-23 and 25-14 to win the nonleague match over the Greenwave. The Warriors improved to 4-0 in non-tournament games, while Fallon drops to 4-5 overall.
Whittell coach Dan McLaughlin had some concerns with his team after the first game. But his girls responded in the second and third games before struggling in the final game.
“It’s important to know that we have four girls playing in new positions,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said he’s still rotating girls in different positions, trying to give the two-time defending 2A state champion Warriors a competitive edge. Both teams played fairly even volleyball in the first game before Fallon pulled away. Whittell made a run to close the gap, but the Warriors’ rally came too late.
First-year Fallon coach Nate Hallett said he liked Fallon’s play in the first game. He said his team also played better defensively than it did in a loss to South Tahoe last week.
“The way we played in the first set should be the way we will be playing at the end (of the season),” Hallett said. “I’m looking at progress.”
McLaughlin, meanwhile, said he is seeing the chemistry develop on his team. It showed during Whittell’s outside hitting and sustained serving in the final three games against Fallon.
The second set began with each team trading points, but the Warriors pulled away with a 7-2 run. Sarah Ingenluyff had five service points during the stretch. Fallon, though, chipped away at the lead and tied the set at 10 after Jessica Daum’s ace.
However, that’s the closest Fallon would come as the Warriors put together a 7-2 run with Jessica Woods serving and Fallon making three errors at the net. Woods finished with 14 kills and 11 digs and her soft tip over the net in the final game sealed the win for the Whittell. While Woods worked the outside, Kelly Karmann worked the middle.
“Jessica is one of the top players in the state of Nevada,” McLaughlin said. “She plays better against better teams. Kelly is always in the game. She paid attention at the right time.”
Fallon and Whitell locked up in an intense third set, which Whittell eventually won by two points. Paige Olivo gave the Greenwave a 6-5 lead, but Whittell didn’t get flustered. With Fallon trailing 19-17, Woods recorded five service points.
Daum sparked Fallon throughout the night with her sustained serving and outside hitting. McLaughlin praised Daum for her play against the Warriors. Daum, though, felt the Greenwave looked better in its match with Whittell. Whittell and Fallon meet again on Oct. 3 in Zephyr Cove.
“We just get over anxious. We want to win so bad,” Daum said.