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Warriors reach state tourney again

Mike Traum

The Whittell high volleyball team earned its sixth straight state championships berth Saturday in Hawthorne.

The Warriors finished second behind Mineral County (Hawthorne) in the Northern Nevada 3A Division II playoffs and will be heading to Las Vegas on Thursday.

“We played the kind of volleyball we’ve been wanting to play all year long,” said Whittell coach Dan McLaughlin. “We showed the kind of teamwork we’ve preached. I’m so proud of these kids. I couldn’t be happier.”



The Warriors lost in the division finals to Hawthorne, 15-3 and 15-9, in the team’s fourth match of the one-day tournament. Whittell’s advance to the finals started with a win over Manogue in the first round, 17-15, 15-5, a match in which the Warriors were down 13-4 in the first game. Then after falling to Hawthorne, 7-15, 15-12, 8-15 in the semis, Whittell again bounced Manogue, 15-4, 15-5.

Senior Becca Fore, who had 47 kills in the nine games, and junior Sarah Sufka, who posted 85 assists, were named to the all-tournament team. Karin Kaleta totaled 14 kills with solid middle play, while Erin Zaskoda had 16 kills and eight aces, and Sarah Van Cleemput added five kills.



“Our veteran leaders really came through in style, especially Becca Fore. She made play after play. But there is no one star on this team. Everybody else did their job and played with great teamwork and played their roles. It was quite a sight to see,” McLaughlin said.

Whittell (14-6 overall, 9-3 league) now faces the task of trying to win a match at state for the first time in three years. But McLaughlin said he thinks this team is up to the challenge.

“We are right there. There’s no question in my mind. I feel we have an excellent chance to play with anybody. There’s no fear,” he said.


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