Girls volleyball rules in the fall
Girls volleyball is the king of the western Nevada County fall high school sports scene.
Now wait. Before all of you Nevada Union and Bear River football fans spew coffee out of your noses, look at the numbers.
Along with a truckload of league titles, the Nevada Union, Bear River and Forest Lake Christian girls volleyball programs have combined for a total of 13 Sac-Joaquin Section championship match appearances with three section titles since 1984.
Still not convinced?
Do you want to see just how good these girls are for yourselves?
You’re in luck. All three of the area’s squads will be host to section tournament matches this week.
The Lady Miners, who rolled undefeated through its Metro Conference schedule this year, enter the Division I table as the No.3 seed behind Davis and top-seeded St. Mary’s of Stockton.
They’ll face their first=round victim – er – opponent, No. 14 Armijo of Fairfield, at home 7 p.m. tonight.
If all goes according to plan, NU will then be host to another lower seed, either No.6 Bear Creek of Stockton or No.11 Johansen of Modesto, before an much anticipated rematch with Davis in the semis.
It was Davis – which went on to win the whole thing – who beat NU in three game in last year’s semifinal.
“I don’t like to look past or around anyone, but I think we have a reasonably good shot to make it to (the semis),” NU head coach Bob Rogers said. “They’re about the same as they were last year, maybe a little weaker. They don’t seem to have as much firepower, but they had a very good setter last year and she’s back.”
The Lady Miners have had more than their fair share of injuries this season, but Rogers’ still confident.
“Most of our players played on the varsity last year, so I’d say we’re a better team. If we were at full strength, I think we would have been the favorite to win it all. I still like our chances,” he said.
And why shouldn’t he?
He’s got the services of three of the top hitters in the section.
On the outside, NU has Metro Conference player of the year, Ali Daley along with Metro Conference first-teamer Erin Zajac.
“Ali’s an especially strong hitter, and she’s very good at serve receive. Erin has had some shoulder problems, but they seem to have disappeared lately so I think she’ll be ready to go at full tilt,” Rogers said.
He will also look to middle hitter/blocker Elena Schmidt and setter Meredith Ely, both all-league selections, for leadership in the title run.
The Lady Bruins, the section’s No. 7 Division III seed, will host tenth-seeded Vanden of Fairfield in their first-round matchup 7 p.m. Tuesday.
This will be the second straight season Bear River – which won the Division III section title in 1998 – have made it to the postseason.
Under first-year head coach Keith Hart, the Lady Bruins rose to the top of the Sierra Foothill League table last year to finish tied for second place with Granite Bay.
Bear River upset host Colfax in their first-round match, then lost to eventual champ St. Francis of Sacramento in the second round.
The Bruins, who switched to the Pioneer Valley League this year, made a serious run at the league title, but finished in second behind Colfax.
Fourteenth-seeded New Life Christian of Maryville will be first up for the No. 3 Lady Falcons.
The match will be held at FLC 7 p.m. tonight.
FLC, which has earned a trip the Division V finals in eight of the last nine years, started its Central Valley Christian League season on an up note, winning four straight.
Then came a three-game loss to Woodland Christian, which put FLC’s hopes for a 19th straight CVCL title in jeopardy.
The Lady Falcons regrouped, then went on to win seven straight, including a three-game win over Woodland Christian in the rematch, to secure a share of the league title.
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The Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer teams traveled to Roseville to take on the Oakmont Junior Vikings in Sacramento Youth Football League action last Saturday.