NU claims first crown |

NU claims first crown

Dan BurkhartJenny Goodwin scores for NU in Saturday's victory.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

DAVIS – The Nevada Union girls volleyball team won its first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title in style with a 16-14, 15-6, 15-12 over top-seeded St. Mary’s (Stockton) at the University of California at Davis Recreation Hall Saturday.

The No.3 Lady Miners, who earned their first trip to the section finals since 1984 with a win over defending champ Davis in the semifinals, didn’t break a sweat in the win over the eight-time section champs.

“I think winning it in three is probably even better than winning the whole thing” NU outside hitter Erin Zajac said. “The team is excited as I’ve ever seen.”

Bob Rogers, NU’s poker-faced head coach, couldn’t help but let a smile peek through after the match.

“It feels pretty good. This was the goal we had when we started and it’s kind of nice to achieve it,” said Rogers, who took over NU’s program nine years ago. “The girls have all worked pretty hard and overcame some injuries (along the way) to get us here.”

With the win, NU enters the NorCal State Championships as the section’s No.1 seed.

The opponent and site for the Lady Miners’ Nov. 26 first-round match will be announced Nov. 24.

NU fell behind 3-0 in game one, but outscored St.Mary’s 13-3 to take control.

The Lady Rams then took advantage of a myriad of NU unforced errors and some big-time kills from Skyler Chase and Natalie King to score eight straight and take the lead at 14-13.

NU forced four game points, before Nicki Maves and Jenny Goodwin combined to block Chase on the right for a point.

Ali Daley, who tallied a team-high 15 digs as well as an ace and a pair of blocks for points, notched two of her team-high 14 kills down the stretch to take the game.

“We really made it tough on ourselves. We took a little break and it almost cost us,” Rogers said.

NU’s Meredith Ely had more than 30 assists along with six aces and two blocks for points.

Zajac finished with nine kills. Elena Schmidt had six kills with two blocks for points. Amanda Benson added nine digs.

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