PREP VOLLEYBALL: Nevada Union to host Chico in NorCal tourney opener | TheUnion.com

PREP VOLLEYBALL: Nevada Union to host Chico in NorCal tourney opener

After more than 45 matches and a run to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Championship Game, the season that started in late August continues on for the Nevada Union girls volleyball team.

"We're all trying to enjoy this ride as long as we can," said Nevada Union head coach Chrys Dudek. "This doesn't happen very often. We're just going to ride it out and see how far we can get."

After falling to Ponderosa in the D-II title game Saturday, the Lady Miners (34-13) will now make their way through the CIF NorCal D-II Volleyball Tournament which gets going Wednesday.

"Understandably they were disappointed after Saturday," Dudek said of his players. "But, they're fired up to learn from Saturday and give it another go."

The Lady Miners (33-13) drew the No. 6 seed in the NorCal D-II bracket and will host No. 11 seed Chico (17-11) at 7 p.m. today at Albert Ali Gymnasium.

"We played Chico in preseason and did well against them," said Dudek. "So, hopefully we can get through the first round and see what the second round brings."

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The Lady Miners swept Chico in three sets Sept. 7, but the Panthers finished the season strong, winning the Northern Section D-II championship over Pleasant Valley.

Led by All-leaguers

Nevada Union, which finished third in the Sierra Foothill League this season, is led by All-SFL First Team selections Regan Heppe, Greta Kramer and Bekah McGill.

Heppe, a four-year varsity player and team captain, is a strong all-around player and fierce outside hitter that leads by example.

"Regan is the epitome of a captain," Dudek said. "She brings her energy to practices and matches. And, her leading with her voice and by example is what really sells it for everyone else."

Kramer, a senior middle-hitter and team captain, was a force at the net all season long. And, McGill, a junior setter and team captain, ran the offense with precision.

All-SFL honorable mentions for NU included junior middle hitter Meadow Aragon and junior libero Eliza Hales.

The Lady Miners also have talented hitters in senior Danica Minard and sophomore Faith Menary.

NorCal history

This is the first time the Lady Miners have competed in the NorCal Tournament since 2009. They were bounced in the second round that year. Nevada Union has won the NorCal tourney three times (2003, 2004, 2009), but has never gone on to win the state championship.

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

KNOW & GO

What: CIF NorCal Volleyball Tournament

Who: No. 6 Nevada Union (33-13) vs. No. 11 Chico (17-11)

When: 7 p.m., Wednesday

Where: Nevada Union’s Albert Ali Gymnasium

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