NU takes down conference rival
Granite Bay’s Terry Stafford has shown over the years that he certainly knows a thing or two about high school volleyball. During his eight-year stint as Bear River’s head coach, Stafford led the Bruins to a section championship in 1999.
Now in his fourth year at Granite Bay, Stafford and company came up to Grass Valley for his Grizzlies’ first Metro Conference clash with Nevada Union, the defending league, section and NorCal champions.
Consider him among the impressed.
“We knew what to expect,” said Stafford, whose Granite Bay team headed back south with a 3-0 defeat (25-16, 25-16, 25-10) at the hands of the Miners. “They did exactly what I thought they would do. We prepared but we just were unable to stop it.
“The bottom line is we couldn’t stop what they threw at us.”
For the first time this season, at least in Metro action, the Miners (15-0 overall, 4-0 Metro) were at the very least challenged. After dropping the opener, Granite Bay (7-3, 2-1) sped out to a 12-8 lead in game two. But NU head coach Bob Rogers called for a timeout, from which the Miners broke the huddle and responded with seven straight points to take command.
Stephanie Bayne, a junior, served up all seven – three of which were scored on kills by senior Ali Daley and three others scored by classmate Julie Wivholm.
Wivholm had three kills on the night and Bayne added six more, while Daley was once again NU’s leader with 25 kills.
“Ali may be the best outside hitter in the state. She is that good,” Stafford said. “I was at the Vegas tourney last weekend and I didn’t see anybody hitting it as good as her and there were a lot of Southern California teams and Hawaii teams there.”
On the receiving end, NU was led by Amy Weeks’ 10 digs, while Daley and Nicole Williams each had eight digs and Bayne added seven more.
“I also thought Sarah Barbaria played great defense. She had four digs and she also served tough tonight,” said NU assistant coach Larry Peterson. “We’ve been working on speeding up our offense in practice with quick sets. And that seemed to work. They had a very tall block, but their block didn’t affect us at all.”
With Granite Bay suffering its first league setback, the Miners move on to Yuba City Thursday. Granite Bay needed five games to put away the Honkers in a Sept. 21 Metro match.
On Friday, though, NU is certain to face its toughest competition of the week as the Miners compete in the Archbishop Mitty National Volleyball Invitational in San Jose.
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