PREP VOLLEYBALL: Miners pound Ponderosa, punch ticket to semifinals | TheUnion.com

PREP VOLLEYBALL: Miners pound Ponderosa, punch ticket to semifinals

The Miners are moving on to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys volleyball semifinals after a dominating straight set playoff victory over the Ponderosa Bruins Thursday night at Albert Ali Gymnasium.

Nevada Union, the No. 3 seed, set the tone early with a barrage of high-flying, powerful kills that No. 11 Ponderosa struggled to contend with.

"That was very entertaining," said Nevada Union head coach Lance Mansuetti. "It was fun to watch them play to their potential. Every time we got into a huddle I had nothing but good things to say. They were playing clean, they had good energy, they moved the ball around and you could see everyone was on today. It was fun to watch."

After taking the first two sets 25-13, 25-13, the Miners were tested a bit in the third set, but rallied from a 13-12 deficit to win, 25-18.

"We came out and played really consistent, made very few errors and that was key to our success tonight," said Nevada Union senior captain Nick Ashbaugh, who hammered down 10 kills and tallied three aces in the win. "We stayed level headed the whole night and that really helped us out."

Nevada Union hitters were in fine form against the Bruins, getting emphatic spikes from multiple players. Jordan Mills finished with 10 kills. Also contributing for NU was Ibrahim Torkman with five kills, Tanner Quiggle with four kills, Riley Nelson had three kills, Cameron Dallago had three kills and Preston Nowak had two kills.

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Running the offense and setting up NU's hoard of hitters was Sam Hales and Trevor Johnson with 18 assists and 15 assists respectively.

Leading the NU defense was Joey Cena with 26 digs.

The Miners (31-4) have now won 12 straight matches and are just two victories away from claiming their first ever Sac-Joaquin Section Championship. Next up for Nevada Union is a 7 p.m. Tuesday semifinal bout in Rocklin against No. 2 seed Whitney, who topped No. 7 Woodcreek in four sets in the second round.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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