Whittell fifth at state volleyball championships | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell fifth at state volleyball championships

Michael Traum

LAS VEGAS – The spell is broken. The future – bright.

Despite losing its Friday opening match and being quickly ushered out of contention, the Whittell High volleyball team hopes to build on its first state tournament win in many years.

After beating Truckee 15-12, 15-9 from the loser’s bracket, the Warriors were lacklusterly dumped by Mineral County, 15-3, 15-10 on Saturday at Chaparral High School.

The Warriors graduate just one player, albeit team-leader Becca Fore, but Whittell coach Dan McLaughlin thinks his young team learned many valuable lessons during its trip to Las Vegas.

“Our youthful inexperience and inconsistency probably hurt us more than anything else. Becca and (junior) Sarah (Sufka) were the only players with major state experience. And perhaps I made some mistakes with some of the direction,” McLaughlin said. “This team grew so much, so fast and is still extremely talented. If they could start the next season tomorrow, they would.”

The Warriors ended up fifth in the state despite being the smallest 3A school in the tournament. Moapa Valley won an impressive seventh straight title, downing North Tahoe in a forced second championship match. The Lakers won the opener, 6-15, 15-5, 15-8 to set up the final, which the Pirates won handily, 15-5, 15-8.

Whittell had beaten North Tahoe in five games at Tahoe City earlier in the year.

“Fifth in the state is quite an accomplishment for the smallest school in the league. But they want to go higher and they know now what it takes. We lose one player, but the young ones will be back and ready to step up. They aren’t content with just one win at state. It bodes well for the program, the kids and the school. I’m real, real proud of them,” McLaughlin said.

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