Nevada Union Lady Miners get thundestruck
The Rocklin Thunder rolled into Albert Ali Gymnasium Wednesday night and shook the Lady Miners in the first Sierra Foothill League match of the season.
The Nevada Union girls volleyball team (13-10, 0-1 SFL) looked out of sync, made too many mistakes and didn’t have an answer for the Rocklin (18-7, 1-0 SFL) front line, resulting in a straight-set loss, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23.
“Their communication was better then ours,” NU head coach Kelly Rhoden said. “We need to pull together better as a team. I think we have all the ability in the world to do that, but it’s just a matter of doing it.”
The Rocklin bigs consistently slammed down kills at key junctures of the match and blocked many of NU’s kill attempts. The Thunder boast a front line of four girls all 6-foot, 1-inch or taller, including freshman standout Maddie Haynes, 6-3, whose kill attempts seemed to find their way through the Lady Miner defense every time.
Before the game, NU’s co-head coach Marco Salcedo said his team needed to serve well to win. It didn’t. The usually ace-heavy Lady Miners notched a only few throughout all three sets, garnering more service errors than aces.
“We need to be more consistent with our serving,” Rhoden said. “Serving comes and goes, we have some amazing servers, and when we’re on, we’re on. When we’re not, it hurts us.”
The Lady Miners fought closely with Rocklin all night, never falling behind by a large margin, but when the end of sets neared, the Thunder excelled and the Lady Miners wilted.
In the second set, NU trailed 20-17 when Rocklin went on a 5-1 run to win the set. In the third set, the Lady Miners had the edge at 19-16, but Rocklin closed on a 9-4 run to take the set and match.
In the third, with the set tied at 19, the referee made a controversial call that had the Lady Miner bench and fans fired up. The referee called an NU kill attempt out after the line judge had called it in, prompting Lady Miner captain Rachel Hadley to ask for an explanation which in turn garnered her a yellow card. Salcedo was also given a yellow card as a result of the subsequent conversation.
Despite the straight-set loss, Rhoden said there were positives to take from the night.
“Hannah Bryant played amazing for her first night back in a few weeks,” Rhoden said. “She’s been working really hard off the court with her speed and agility, and I think we saw some of that tonight. She showed up tonight, and she was ready to play, so that was exciting, and it’s nice to have her back.”
Bryant finished the night with seven kills, Hadley finished with a team-high nine, Sierra Payne added seven kills, and Emily Segel had three. Lindsey Meyer led the Lady Miners with 17 assists, and Sydney Porter had eight digs.
The road to their first SFL win of the season doesn’t get any easier, as the Lady Miners take on Granite Bay, No. 4 in the Sac-Joaquin Section, Monday at home.
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4232.
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