Bishop Gorman advances to 4A girls state volleyball final

Updated November 9, 2018 - 10:59 pm

RENO — Bishop Gorman will get a chance to win its second state girls volleyball championship in three years.

The Gaels defeated Faith Lutheran 25-17, 25-13, 25-16 in the Class 4A state semifinals Friday at Bishop Manogue and will meet Reno for the title for the second time in three years.

Reno defeated Coronado 25-23, 25-11, 25-23 in the other semifinal. The state title match will be played at 4 p.m. Saturday at Manogue.

Gorman (38-4) won the 2016 meeting with Reno in four sets and looks to be even more dominant this season, still having not lost a set to a Nevada team. But first-year coach Gregg Nunley said winning a state title would be a byproduct of the team’s season, not the objective.

“I think what drives them is still really putting your best out there,” Nunley said. “That’s the goal, not necessarily wins or scores. I see a lot of room for growth, and I feel like there’s still so much work to do.”

The Gaels were efficient against Faith Lutheran (26-15), answering every challenge with a string of points.

Tommi Stockham led Gorman with 16 kills, and Anjelina Starck dished out 26 assists and served four aces. Caroline Edgeworth added 14 assists and eight digs, and Alex Washington had eight kills.

Kyrie Lorfing had six kills, seven digs and four aces for the Crusaders, Isabelle Guerrero had six kills, and Lauren Tomita made eight digs.

“We didn’t pass out of the gate, but when we did pass, I felt we stayed with them,” Faith Lutheran coach Amy Fisher said. “But too many points in a row right there was too much to be able to take a set.”

In the other semifinal, Reno (22-3) had an answer for every Coronado challenge in advancing to meet Gorman again.

“We have six seniors, and we were in this position two years ago against Bishop Gorman, and for us to have a second opportunity means everything,” Reno coach Kuna Nakagawa said.

Trying to stay alive after losing the first two sets, the Cougars (27-11) rallied from a 20-16 deficit in the third set to tie the score 22-22 and 23-23, but an attack error and an ace by Reno’s Mia Wilmot ended the match.

Coronado also trailed 20-16 in the first set and managed to pull even 23-23, but a spike went long and Grace Taylor served an ace to finish the set for Reno.

“We had our chances, but when got to crunch time, they made plays and we didn’t,” Coronado coach Matt Johnson said.

Kaitlynn Biassou led Reno’s advantage at the net with 18 kills. Kaylin Talonen had 10 kills, three blocks and 13 digs, and Namahana Atoa had 14 digs.

Sasha Bolla finished with 12 kills for Coronado, Kennedi Steele had 12 digs and Ashlynn Ammerman had five kills and one block.

“We have been doing a real good job lately at the net, but sometimes it’s our strength and sometimes it’s our weakness,” Nakagawa said. “Tonight we were fortunate enough to have a good one. I think their No. 12 (Bolla) is a big part of their offense, and we did a decent job of not letting her score.”

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