Reaching the state volleyball championship match always will bring back fond memories for Chaparral’s girls.
The title match itself, though? Maybe not so much.
The Cowboys never quite put things together and were on the wrong side of a pair of controversial calls as South Tahoe rolled to a 25-17, 25-19, 25-9 win in the Division I-A state championship at Galena on Saturday.
The state championship was the first for the Vikings since 1990, and it spoiled the Cowboys’ return to state after a 17-year absence.
South Tahoe (19-8) scored the last eight points of the first set and then caught two breaks after the second set was tied at 12. First, a spike by Chaparral’s Jaeda Allen was ruled long, although Chaparral (24-14) argued to no avail that a Vikings blocker had tipped it.
Moments later, Chaparral coach Jay Renneker argued that South Tahoe was out of rotation, and he was given a yellow card.
The Vikings went on to score seven consecutive points and then had 7-0 and 9-0 runs in the third set.
“Finishing second in the state is quite an accomplishment; our girls are proud of themselves,” Renneker said, declining further comment.
South Tahoe coach Dan McLaughlin, who won six state titles at Whittell, said his team focused on disrupting Chaparral’s ability to get the ball to Allen, it’s best hitter.
“(Allen) is a great player, but we focused on serving so hard that they couldn’t get their side out, taking them out of their offense before they could get started,” he said.
There’s an old saying in boxing that to beat a champion, you have to knock him out.
That’s what Tonopah did Saturday morning in dethroning Pahranagat Valley.
The Muckers dominated their Division IV state championship match, beating the Panthers, 25-20, 25-15, 25-8.
If any doubts lingered about the Muckers’ win over the Panthers in last week’s regional tournament, they were erased quickly.
“That gave them confidence, and it took away the thought that we can’t beat Alamo out of our brains,” Tonopah coach Judi Boni said.
After taking a 21-20 lead in the first set, the Muckers (25-5) trailed only once more, at 1-0 in the third set. But they then reeled off seven straight points, and the red-clad Tonopah contingent spent the rest of the match in celebration mode.
“It’s amazing,” Tonopah senior setter/outside hitter Alli Friel said. “So much better than I expected.”
Pahranagat Valley (19-8) had won the Class 1A state title each of the past three years, beating Tonopah in last year’s final.
“We’ve been after this for quite a few years,” Boni said. “I wouldn’t let them let up until we got to 25.”
Pershing County rolled to a 27-25, 25-11, 25-17 win over Yerington to capture the Division III title.
The championship is the first for the Mustangs (33-3). The Lions (27-13) had won the past two Class 2A state titles.