Miners make clean sweep
All three Nevada Union volleyball squads served into play Saturday at the 20-team Davis Tournament and just one group of Miners dropped so much as a single match, as NU brought back tourney titles at both the varsity and junior varsity levels.
But even then, it took an NU team to beat an NU team.
The only Nevada Union squad to suffer a setback at the tourney was the freshmen Miners, who actually fell to their upperclassmen brethren in the junior varsity tournament.
“After we had gotten done with our game, I found out our freshman and junior varsity teams were playing each other in the semifinals of the JV tournament,” NU coach Marco Salcedo said Sunday. “And I was just like ‘Oh man!'”
Nevada Union’s varsity ran through all three of their pool play opponents in two games, as the Miners made quick work of Mt. Diablo (25-17, 25-20), Monterey Trail (25-21, 27-25) and Chico High (25-12, 25-15).
NU then followed with a 25-12, 25-15 win over Florin in the quarterfinals, before scoring a semifinal win over Sierra Foothill League rival Oakmont – in the Miners’ only match to go beyond two games – 25-23, 16-25, 15-8.
The championship bout against Woodcreek, another SFL foe, didn’t exactly get off to a strong start for the Miners. NU fell behind 8-0 in game one.
“We had a little letdown in the semifinals that was kind of a similar situation,” Salcedo said. “The bottom line was (the Miners) were getting tired and our focus and everything started falling apart.
“We called a timeout to talk about it and get everybody re-focused. Nobody was panicked, which was a good thing.”
Instead, the Miners fought back to take game one 28-26.
“We were down at one point 22-16 and Kevin Trapani served a couple of aces and then we had some hard hits,” Salcedo said. “Justin Carroll had one that was just through the roof. That kind of picked up the momentum for us. And Nick Cancilla, with his passing and defense, he just flat-out saved the game.”
The Miners then took control of game three, 15-8, for the championship.
Tyler Salcedo, who had 120 assists on 244 sets and eight service aces on the day, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Also earning all tournament team honors were Austin Schumacher, who had 36 kills and five aces, and Carroll, who totaled 21 kills.
Corey George had 20 kills, while Cancilla added 19 more. Anthony Ruggiero finished with 15 kills. Pat McTighe also drew praise from his coach for his defensive play.
“I just can’t tell you how much of a team effort it was,” Coach Salcedo said. “Every single guy contributed.”
Nevada Union’s junior varsity and freshman teams also each won their pool play and advanced to the semifinals of the JV bracket.
After holding off NU’s frosh in that semifinal round, the Miners JV squad beat rival Woodcreek in three games for the title.
But it wasn’t quite that easy.
NU’s junior varsity trailed Woodcreek 11-2 in the third and deciding game – which ends with the first team to reach 15 points.
“They made a couple of play and finally got a side out,” Coach Salcedo said. “But then they went back and served it up all the way through (for a 16-14 win).”
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4240.
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