PREP VOLLEYBALL: Miners fall to Whitney in section semifinals |

PREP VOLLEYBALL: Miners fall to Whitney in section semifinals

ROCKLIN — A crack at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys volleyball championship will have to wait another year for the Miners from Nevada Union.

The Miners battled valiantly and left everything out on the court Tuesday night, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to Whitney in a grueling semifinal match. The Wildcats took the match in four-heated sets, topping the Miners, 25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22.

“They played their hearts out,” said NU head coach Lance Mansuetti, speaking of his guys. “I don’t feel like it was their best. I felt like we had a lot of unforced errors. They did play with a lot of heart, proud of them for that. Proud they had a great season, a great run.”

After dropping the first two sets by a narrow margin, the Miners were finally able to tame the Wildcats in the third set to keep their hopes alive.

Behind an energetic NU fan base packing the stands, the Miners fought to the finish. Their last gasp in the fourth set saw a 20-19 lead slip away.

Leading the Miners offense was senior Nick Ashbaugh with 13 kills. Junior Jordan Mills added 11 kills and Ibrahim Torkman had five.

Setting the offense was seniors Sam Hales and Trevor Johnson, who had 20 assists and 15 assists respectively.

Leading the defense was Joey Cena with a team-high 25 digs.

The loss concludes a season in which the Miners went 31-5 overall and won the Sierra Foothill League championship.

Whitney advances to the section title game Saturday.

Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.

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