Prep roundup: Miners rise above Bruins
In a cross-county bout between perennial high school girls volleyball powers, it was Nevada Union earning a straight set victory (25-13, 25-18, 25-10) over Bear River.
Facing the Bruins at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium on Wednesday, the Miners got the job done with a balanced offensive attack and a strong effort from the service line.
“This is the first time that we’ve had everyone together since the very first match against Rio Linda,” said NU head coach Chrys Dudek. “I love seeing them all play together, They took a little bit to get going, but they started getting their serves in and gained a little confidence and took off from there.”
The match was tight early on as the Bruins grabbed a 8-7 first set advantage. That’s when the Miners went on a 14-1 run to surge ahead and eventually take the opening set.
“I think we started to have better communication, and we became more aggressive,” NU senior Kailee McLaughlin said of the momentum shift.
McLaughlin was instrumental in NU’s success throughout the match, notching six kills, five blocks and three aces in the win.
The second set was closer as the Bruins stayed within five points of the Miners for much of the set, but NU pulled away late.
By the third frame, the Miners were rolling and cruised to a 15-point set victory to close out the match.
In addition to McLaughlin’s effort, the Miners got big contributions from junior Kayda Kinch (six aces, five assists and three kills), junior Delaynee Dunbar (seven kills and two aces), senior Dani Gil (four aces), senior Reese Werner (four aces), junior A.J. King (five assists) and sophomore Emma Kerley (four kills).
As a team, the Miners scored 21 aces in the match.
Leading the Bruins was senior Ashley Ray with eight assists, four kills and two blocks. Senior Sydney Franks (four kills, four assists and three blocks) and senior Summer Huntley (three kills) also played well for Bear River.
For longtime Bear River head coach Matt MacDonald the journey just to get to the season has been a trying one, but one that has taught his team a great deal about resiliency.
“What I’m most proud about is that they’ve stayed cohesive, they’ve been resilient and they’ve committed to personal growth,” he said.
The Bruins have two contests left, one against Colfax Wednesday and another against Western Sierra May 26.
“It’s about the seniors, getting them opportunities to play and allowing them to have those moments,” MacDonald said. “The pandemic has been hard for everybody. We’ve all had sacrifices and so many things that are hard to deal with, but I think these kids really have an opportunity at some normalcy at the end of the (school) year.”
The Miners have five matches left with the next coming on Monday against Rio Linda.
Nevada Union 2, Bear River 1
Shortly after the Miners and Bruins battled it out on the volleyball court, the two schools then faced off on the pitch Wednesday. Once again it was the Miners coming out on top.
Leading the NU boys soccer team was Tucker Goodspeed and Bryce Nguyen, who both tallied an unassisted goal. As a team, the Miners took 15 shots on goal.
NU’s goalie, Ben Legge, took care of business on his end, and finished with two saves.
Next up for the Miners is a Friday match at Oakmont. The Bruins get back at it Monday against Colfax.
Oakmont 7, Nevada Union 4
The Miners couldn’t keep pace with Oakmont on Wednesday, losing to the Vikings by three on the road.
After falling behind by two, the Miners evened the score with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Oakmont respond quickly with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the bottom of the fifth. NU added a run in the fifth and one more in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough.
Leading the Miners from the plate was Timmy Dion (2-for-3, double, three RBIs) and Chase Nye (2-for-4).
NU closes out its series with Oakmont on Friday.
Lincoln 61, Nevada Union 53
The Miners were in control for the first three quarters, but a late run by the Fighting Zebras from Lincoln proved to be the difference Tuesday night.
NU led 24-21 at halftime, and maintained a 38-35 lead heading to the fourth quarter, but Lincoln outscored the Miners 26-15 in the final frame to earn the Foothill Valley League win.
The Miners were led by junior post player Milo Goehring with 32 points. Eli Jones added 14 points, and Corey Ellis chipped in with six.
It’s a busy week for the NU hoops team. The Miners (1-6) faced off with Del Oro Thursday night in a game that was not completed as of press time. They are also set to face Chico today and Woodcreek on Saturday.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com
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The 2021 High School Optimist All Star teams for baseball, softball and boys volleyball have been announced, and several local student-athletes made the cut.