Incline Village, NV;
In a battle of unbeaten AA league teams, the Incline Highlanders lost a very tough 4 set match to the Yerington Lions on Saturday afternoon at Incline High School. Playing in front of the biggest crowd of the year, Incline and Yerington slugged it out before Yerington came back in set #4 to defeat the Highlanders.
“That was a regional title type of match right there,” first year Incline coach Tim Kelly said. “These are the two best teams in AA Northern Nevada and they gave this crowd an amazing display of great volleyball. It’s never easy losing, but we are so proud of the effort these ladies gave today.”
The Highlanders started the day hot, as they took game #1 in exciting fashion, 26 – 24. There were multiple lead changes and ties before Incline finished with two huge points when the score was tied 24 – 24.
Once again the Highlanders were led by their Seniors; setter Madeliene Saxe, middle Alexis Krolick, outside Madison Cronk, right side Ellyse Kirkland and defensive specialist Leslie Medina. They combined for 50 digs, 7 blocks, 34 kills, 3 aces and 42 assists on the day. Kirkland and Cronk did major damage against the Lions with 12 kills and 11 digs and 11 kills and 17 digs respectively. Krolick was no slouch herself finishing with 8 kills and 3 blocks. Saxe had a major stat day with 40 assists, 16 digs and 3 blocks.
Game 2 was another back and forth affair as Yerington took an early lead only to see Incline fight back to tie the match at 21 – 21. Unfortunately the Highlanders just couldn’t get to some short dumps by Yeringtons setter and a couple blocks off Inclines hands as Yerington held on to win 21 – 25.
The Sophomores, middle Michaela Racich and libero Olivia Schneider shined all day but especially in game 2 for the Highlanders. Racich, according to Kelly, had her best day of the year as she finished with 4 blocks and 4 kills. Schneider, Incline’s utility player that plays outside, libero and DS, had a fabulous day from the back row with 13 digs and an ace.
Game 3 was close at the start but then some mistakes from Incline and fired up play by Yerington saw the Lions win going away 25 – 16. Junior DS, Alyssa Fellows came off the bench to have a strong game 3 finishing with 4 digs.
Game 4 was an amazing event as Incline took a lead and held on to it until they were up 21 – 16. The crafty play from Yerington’s setter on dumps as well as their outside hitters finding a spot in the middle of Incline’s defense allowed the Lions to come back. The final tie of the day happened at 23 – 23 before Yerington made a couple plays to hold on for a 25 – 23 victory.
“I’m not a big moral victory guy but I do love watching young people compete at a high level,” Kelly said. “This was the best volleyball match I’ve watched all season and the biggest thing we told our girls is that now they know they can be the best team in the state of Nevada. The coaches knew it coming in that we are a very good team now our girls know it and they should be very fired up about how they played. We are just excited we get Yerington at least one more time.”
The 5 – 1 Highlanders travel to North Tahoe this Thursday for their only match of the week before going on October break. They actually play North Tahoe again on Tuesday Oct. 10 at Incline High School.
AA Northern NV ladder:
Yerington: 6 – 0
Incline: 5 – 1
White Pine: 4 – 2
Pershing County: 3 – 3
North Tahoe: 3 – 3
Silver Stage: 2 – 4
West Wendover: 1 – 5
Battle Mountain: 0 – 6