Miners make section finals | TheUnion.com

Miners make section finals

DAVIS – Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Nevada Union High School volleyball team has been on ice for a year.

The Miners were dispatched with little notice in last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal match. This year, they made a spectacle of themselves Friday as they upset the defending section champion Davis at UC Davis’ Rec Hall.

“Last year, they just came out and killed us,” Miners outside hitter Ali Daley said. “We knew we’d have to work extra hard. We were all eager to play them.”

After a lackluster first game, NU (18-1 overall) started to play its game and walked off the court with a 10-15, 15-5, 16-14, 15-11 victory.

The win puts the Miners in their first section final match since 1984, when they lost to Davis in three games. NU faces St. Mary’s, which defeated Laguna Creek in Friday’s other semifinal, today at 5 p.m. at the Rec Hall.

“We did a pretty good job of hitting the ball in the court,” NU coach Bob Rogers said. “I felt if we served in a lot and didn’t give any easy points to the other team, we’d prevail.”

The Miners made Davis (17-2) work for every point, while they scored at will with the solid hitting of Daley, Erin Zajac and Elena Schmidt. Daley led NU with 21 kills, and Zajac had 12.

When the Miners weren’t putting the ball down hard, they were stopping the Blue Devils from trying to do the same. Schmidt had four blocks for points, and Nicole Maves and Jenny Goodwin had three each.

“Their blocking and hitting made it really difficult,” Davis coach Leigh Whitmire said. “We couldn’t hit around them, and we couldn’t stop them.”

The Miners appeared stoppable in the third game as Davis opened a 6-0 lead. However, they chipped away and took the lead on the serving of

Amanda Benson. NU trailed 9-7 when Benson stepped behind the line and lead 11-9 when she was done. The Miners never trailed in the game again.

Davis built a two-point lead in the fourth game. NU erased it quickly as Schmidt and Maves put up a solid block to pull within one. A Davis error evened the score at 3-3, and NU took the lead for good on a thunderous kill by Zajac.

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