SMALL SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Pirates storm back to down Dayton

RENO — Moapa Valley’s season was on the line as the Pirates girls volleyball team took the court for the fourth set Friday night in a Class 3A state semifinal match.

The Pirates rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Dayton in five sets, 25-15, 14-25, 17-25, 25-16, 15-6 at Damonte Ranch High to advance to the championship match. Moapa Valley (27-10) plays Truckee (26-6) in the final at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

“We fought our butts off to get here and we weren’t going to let it go,” Moapa Valley senior Jaylea Blasingame said. “We didn’t come eight hours to lose our first game.”

The Pirates played like they meant business to start the fourth set, scoring the first five points, and it was Blasingame’s kill off the Dayton block that gave Moapa Valley firm command of the set with a 23-16 lead.

In the fifth set, Moapa Valley scored six straight points after taking an 8-5 lead. The run started with a kill by Shelbi Walker and ended with an ace by Dannika Gordon and a kill by Blasingame.

“I was very confident going to the fifth, because once we hit our stride we’ve been very difficult, and I felt like we’d found our stride,” Moapa Valley coach Mandie Matheson said. “I had a lot more confidence knowing the girls were on board and refusing to quit.”

Moapa Valley started the match strong, winning the first set, but Dayton (19-13) won the second and third sets on the strength of 8-0 and 8-1 runs.

“There was a huge momentum shift between sets one and two,” Matheson said. “Dayton started taking it to us with well-placed shots and serving tough, and we struggled to keep up with them.”

Blasingame said the players shouldered the blame for the lull in the second and third sets.

“We lost momentum because we thought we had it, and that team has seniors who weren’t going to just let go,” Blasingame said

Eden Whitmore had 14 kills for Moapa Valley, and both Blasingame and Walker had 13 kills.

Brianda Diaz led Dayton with 13 kills, two aces and 11 digs. Ashley Mason had 10 kills and Makenna Olsen had seven kills and three blocks.

In the other semifinal, Truckee advanced with a 25-17, 25-23, 25-22 win over Boulder City.

Maia Dvoracek had 22 kills and five aces to lead the Wolverines, and she was serving while Truckee scored 15 consecutive points in the first set to turn a 10-4 deficit into a 19-10 lead.

“She’s a tremendous player, so we knew that coming into it and we couldn’t handle her,” Boulder City coach Cherise Hinman said.

Boulder City (17-21) grabbed an early lead in all three sets, but couldn’t hold on.

“We warm up terrible, too. That’s one thing I laugh about,” Truckee coach Erika Murphy said. “Then we wake up and get on the court and get going.”

Alea Lehr had 29 assists, two aces and two kills for Boulder City. Maggie Roe added 16 kills, three aces, two blocks and six digs, and teammate Kenadee Bailey had eight kills.

Truckee hasn’t won a state championship since winning three in a row from 2009 to 2011. Moapa Valley is second in state history with 14 titles, its most recent coming in 2003.

“No doubt in my mind we can play with anyone in the state, and we’re going to show it (Saturday),” Blasingame said.


Olivia Kaiser had nine kills and nine digs as Calvary Chapel defeated White Pine 25-20, 25-22, 25-19 in a Class 2A state semifinal at Sparks High.

Malia Lee added seven kills and 12 digs, and Sara Hernandez had seven kills and 10 digs for the Lions.

Lexi Davis added 29 assists for Calvary Chapel (29-5), which plays Yerington (29-7) in the championship match at 4 p.m. Saturday at Damonte Ranch.

Yerington advanced with a 25-15, 25-23, 25-16 win over The Meadows (26-11).


Pahranagat Valley advanced to the state title match for the 22nd consecutive season with a 25-17, 25-14, 25-13 victory over Wells at Sparks High.

The Panthers (22-6) play Owyhee (16-3-1) for the title at noon Saturday at Damonte Ranch. The Braves advanced with a 25-11, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21 win over Beatty (18-5).