Brandon Walters, the Bear River volleyball team’s first-year head coach, knew his Bruins had their hands full as they headed up Highway 49 to face defending NorCal champion Nevada Union on its home floor Thursday.
But make no mistake,Walters wanted a victory and not just one of the moral variety – though that was what Bear River was left with following a three-game sweep at the hands of the Miners.
NU downed the Bruins 25-15, 25-8, 25-12.
“We were looking to hang with them,” Walters said. “I hope they’re frustrated because they didn’t play like they wanted to win. They were out here not to lose.
“But it should be a building block for us, because there is no one in our league close to as good as Nevada Union.”
The Miners (2-0) took command early, led by senior Ali Daley’s five kills in game one. NU was at game-point 24-12, when Bear River put together its first string of success. The Bruins, who had scored just once on their own serve to that point, got a kill from Andrea Goodnight, who then took over serve after the sideout.
Goodnight served up two more points, including one off a kill from middle-hitter Jessica Agnew, to make things 24-15, but a Bruin hitting error after the next serve ended game one.
“We’re a good serving team, which makes it hard for teams that can’t handle our serve,” said NU head coach Bob Rogers. “That makes it tough for teams to play as well as they are capable of playing.”
Daley was serving up a storm in game two with three straight aces, before Rogers relegated her to the bench with NU leaded 15-4. In limited action, she had 11 kills, six digs and a stuff block. Nicole Williams added seven digs, Claire Tovar had six more. Stephanie Bayne racked up six kills for the Miners, while Alicia Landon had five.
“We just played two really tough matches (against highly-touted Union Mine and Golden Sierra), so a couple of kids hadn’t gotten in much,” Rogers said. “They got playing time (Thursday) and they did very well, so that was good.”
One of those players was freshman Sarah McAtee, who five kills and three stuff blocks.
Nevada Union rolled out to a 15-1 lead in game three, thanks to Amanda Benson, who served up four straight points, and Williams who added nine in a row in that stretch.
Bear River was led up front by Agnew, who finished with four kills and an ace. Goodnight and Candice Wermes each had three kills.
The Bruins (1-1) are back in action Wednesday, traveling to Casa Roble. NU, meanwhile, will compete in a 36-team weekend tournament in Reno.
Bear River’s junior varsity defeated Nevada Union 25-19, 18-25, 15-11 Thursday.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
As far as experts go, The Union’s “experts” have not exactly lived up to the billing so far this season.