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Deficits can’t derail Faith Lutheran run

Good volleyball teams know how to stepup in the face of adversity, and Faith Lutheran girls coach Amy Fisher thinks she’s got a pretty good team.

The Crusaders reinforced that belief Friday by overcoming significant deficits in the second and third sets to top Truckee 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 in a Division I-A state semifinal at Green Valley.

Cayla Nikodemus had 20 kills and seven digs to lead Faith Lutheran, which will play Dayton in the title match at noon today.

“We practice playing in deficits,” Fisher said. “So that was common for us.”

Faith Lutheran took control early in the first set. Nikodemus’ kill gave the Crusaders a 3-2 lead, and they never trailed.

But the Wolverines jumped to a 4-0 lead in the second set and led until Courtney Hansen served an ace to tie the score at 13. Truckee led 19-18 before Hansen took over by scoring four of the Crusaders’ final five points on impressive kills.

The Wolverines went up 6-1 in the third set, but Faith Lutheran tied it with a 6-1 run, and the score stayed close throughout the rest of the set. Morgan Hill’s back-to-back kills gave the Crusaders a 15-14 lead, and Nikodemus followed with an emphatic hit that helped Faith Lutheran begin pulling away.

Hansen finished with 15 kills and 14 digs, and Hill had 12 kills and two blocks.

Mackenzie Redner had 10 kills and two blocks for Truckee.

■ Dayton 3, Boulder City 0 — Madi Foley had 21 kills and six digs to lead the Dust Devils past the Eagles 25-20, 25-18, 25-13.

Dayton coach Monica Halverson said the convincing win was more than she expected.

“I thought it would be much more intense than that,” she said. “My team is pretty deep. They kind of took things from the get-go and ran with it.”

Boulder City put up some resistance in the second set, closing the deficit to 15-13. But Dayton recovered and dominated the rest of the way.

Ashley Vickers had eight kills and Peach Coons 23 assists, five digs and four aces for Dayton.

Boulder City was led by Whitney Barlow (20 kills), Alyssa Ybarra (15 digs), and Kendall Miller (18 assists).

The Division III state semifinal between Pershing County and Calvary Chapel could’ve been dubbed the Melissa Gonzalez and Deja Harris show.

Led by Gonzalez, Pershing County outlasted Calvary Chapel and Harris 23-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-14, 15-12.

Gonzalez led the defending state champions with 31 kills, 20 digs and two aces.

“Melissa Gonzalez is a workhorse,” Pershing County coach Shauna Bake said. “She knew she had to step up. She led the team with her attitude and her positive approach and did a great job.”

Calvary Chapel (29-5) countered with Harris, who finished with 43 kills in her last high school game.

Pershing County twice overcame one-set deficits after dropping the first and third sets.

But the biggest shock came in the fifth set, when the Mustangs overcame an 8-0 deficit to come back and win 15-12.

Bailey Wanner had 13 kills, 13 digs and four aces for the Mustangs, who got 45 assists, 17 digs and two blocks from setter Abby Bake.

Calvary Chapel’s production came from Brooke Davis (52 assists), Alexis Harris (six kills), Athena Lewis (13 digs), Allison Brown (11 digs), and Jamie Mejia (four blocks, two kills).

The Mustangs (27-8) will face Yerington (26-9) for the state title at 10 a.m. today at Green Valley. The Lions beat Pershing County all four times during the regular season.

■ Yerington 3, Lincoln County 0 — Kassidy Lommori had 10 kills and 10 digs, and Chloe Dane added 14 kills and seven digs as the Lions swept the Lynx 25-11, 29-27, 25-14 to advance into today’s title match.

Angela Sciarani had six kills and 12 digs and Ashley Rife 30 assists and 11 digs for Yerington.

■ Smith Valley 3, Tonopah 1 — Katie Ladd had 13 kills and 23 digs Friday to lead the Bulldogs past the Muckers 25-18, 25-18, 20-25, 25-15 in a Division IV state semifinal at Coronado.

Kellie Rogaczewski had seven kills and seven blocks for Smith Valley, which also got 20 digs from Josy Wortman.

Sidney Maughan had eight kills, 13 digs and 11 assists for Tonopah (11-4), which got 11 kills, six blocks and three aces from Ashley Gray.

Smith Valley (22-9) will face Pahranagat Valley (29-2) for the Division IV state championship at 2 p.m. today at Green Valley.

■ Pahranagat Valley 3, Eureka 0 — Bailee Hosier had 13 kills, 18 digs and three aces, and Traci Strong added 14 kills, six digs and four aces as the Panthers swept the Vandals 25-11, 25-20, 25-17.

Kennedy Hunstman had 29 assists and three aces for the Panthers, and Jamie Hansen and Brooke Higbee added 12 digs apiece.

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