Easy as 1, 2, 3: NU gears up for SFL-leading Rocklin, after three-game sweep | TheUnion.com

Easy as 1, 2, 3: NU gears up for SFL-leading Rocklin, after three-game sweep

Good morning, good afternoon, good night. Taking care of business in efficient manner Tuesday night, Nevada Union’s varsity volleyball team went three up and three down against visiting Woodcreek at Ali Gymnasium, making sure the Miners will be well-rested for Thursday’s clash with Sierra Foothill League-leading Rocklin.

NU downed the T’wolves 25-14, 25-11, 25-14.

“Our hustle looks good,” said NU coach Bob Rogers, whose Miners moved to 18-8 overall and 3-1 in the SFL. “We need to get some more kills from at least one more hitter. We also served pretty tough, and we’re going to need that Thursday.”

Rogers and co-head coach Larry Peterson were especially upbeat after watching the Miners keep their focus and not let up during their clean sweep of Woodcreek Tuesday as NU celebrated its annual “Pink Night,” raising funds and awareness in the battle against breast cancer.

“Even when we were up 21-11, we were still really hustling to get to the balls in the corner,” Peterson said. “It’s good to get that kind of enthusiasm and energy.”

“You’re right,” Rogers said. “Sometimes you ease up (against an overmatched opponent) and we really didn’t do that.

“I thought we maintained our concentration fairly well and our hustle was good. We ran down some pretty crazy (balls) to get them back in. That’s always good to see.”

Carrying much of that defensive load was Madison Heppe, who had a team-high 13 digs and 11 serve-receive opportunities. Victoria Kuhn added eight digs for the Miners.

Marnie McDowell, who led the organization of “Pink Night” as part of her senior project, led the NU hitting attack with 13 kills. McDowell also had three blocks for points.

Tessa Butterfield had 13 clean serve-receive passes, eight kills and four service aces. Kayla Geary had four aces on the night.

Rocklin (28-3 overall, 3-0) and Nevada Union have not met in the 2010 season, but Rogers and Peterson did get a chance to see the Thunder in action at a tournament earlier this fall. Rogers said he expects to see a team similar to his in terms of all-out hustle and defensive play.

“Rocklin will serve really tough,” Rogers said. “And both outside hitters (Katelyn Ivy and Cailyn Prewitt) are returning players from last year and they both hit the ball well.”

The Miners expect to be without middle hitter Jenna Britton (shoulder), who also did not play Tuesday. Rogers said she is certain to be sidelined this week and will likely be a day-to-day decision on whether she’s ready to go from that point forward.

Rocklin won the first two meetings with Nevada Union in 2009, topping the Miners by the same 2-1 score at both the Davis Fall Classic and the Great 8 tournaments. The Miners won the first meeting 3-1 in SFL play at Ali Gym, but fell to the Thunder 3-0 in the regular-season finale.

Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at bhamilton@theunion.com or by phone at 477-4240.

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