Nevada Union girls volleyball team win — now they’re in
Coming into Tuesday’s regular season finale with Woodcreek, the scenario was simple for the Nevada Union girls volleyball team. Win and you’re in; lose and it’s complicated.
At first, things looked like they would get complicated, but the Lady Miners were determined to keep it simple on Senior Night and rallied from a set down to beat the Lady Timberwolves in four sets, 19-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16.
“It was Senior Night, and they were a little over-pumped, over-excited,” NU head coach Marco Salcedo said. “And with that comes mistakes, but once that’s done, we settled in and played volleyball.”
With the win, the Lady Miners (17-17, 4-6 Sierra Foothill League) grab the fourth and final playoff spot allotted to the SFL. It’s the first time NU has breached the playoff bracket since 2009, when as a No. 11 seed it advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section title game but lost to top-seeded Oak Ridge.
“This was a huge deal for us,” senior outside hitter Emily Segel said. “I’ve been looking forward to making it to the playoffs all four years, and we all walked in here determined and ready.”
On Senior Night, it was Segel and her fellow seniors who made all the difference. Segel finished with a team-high 13 kills and two aces. Senior Melanie O’Brien tallied five kills and multiple blocks, several of which were at key junctures in the contest. Senior Hannah Bryant added four kills and senior Sydney Porter impressed with her aggressive floor play, digging several balls and allowing NU to continue the volley. Senior setter Lindsay Meyer was integral as she set the table for many of NU’s kills with precision passes. Other seniors honored Tuesday at Albert Ali Gymnasium were Ella Corbett and Lauren Mickel.
After the Lady Miners dropped the first set, they regrouped and looked like a different team in sets two, three and four, getting big kills from Segel and junior Amanda Roberts.
“Our two outsides are doing a really good job right now in Emily and Amanda,” Salcedo said. “Emily has racked up 14 to 17 kills per match, and Amanda’s bringing 10 to 12 kills per match but also has had a double-double in every single match this year. She brings that 14 to 16 digs per match from the outside, so that’s huge.”
NU also saw improved blocking and serving as it cruised to victories in the second and third sets.
In the fourth set, NU fell behind 8-7, but with Meyer at the service line, the Lady Miners went on a eight point run to kick start an 18-8 run to finish it. In the final stretch, Delaney Smith landed a strong kill, and Meyer set up several kills, including ones that Segel, Bryant and O’Brien hammered down. By the end of the game, NU looked like a team ready for the postseason.
“It’s been a few years since this program has been in the playoffs, so it’s exciting for them to have another game,” Salcedo said. “Our season’s not over. We will have another match next week. We’ll see where we end up and take it game by game.”
The playoff brackets will be released Wednesday evening at http://cifsjs.org. Salcedo said he expects the Lady Miners will draw a mid-level seed.
“I think we will be a mid-seed team that nobody quite knows or has seen a lot,” Salcedo said. “I think teams will be surprised that we are stronger than what our record shows.”
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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