For years, Truckee has been a thorn in the side of the Lowry High School volleyball team.
The two squads have formed a budding rivalry, with the Wolverines usually coming out on top. A season ago, Truckee eliminated Lowry from the Northern 3A regional playoffs and went on to win the state championship.
In only its second home match of the year, last Thursday the Lady Bucks got some revenge. Lowry did it in dramatic fashion, coming from two sets behind to win 26-28, 23-25, 27-25, 25-18 and 18-16. The Lady Bucks had to hold off match point on a number of occasions.
“It was a crazy match,” said LHS coach Brandon Eastman. “It was huge for us in many ways. First it was Truckee, and they are our main rival. They ended our season last year. We were coming off losses to Dayton and Elko and did not want to lose three straight matches.”
Truckee scored six of the first eight points in the first set, but kills by Julianne Montero and Sierra Maestrejuan and a block by Brittany Jacaway kept Lowry close at 9-6.
The Wolverines used a 5-2 run to go up 14-8 and force the Lady Bucks to call a timeout. Aided by three kills from Jacaway, Lowry closed the gap to 17-16. However they gave a point right back on a missed serve. Truckee appeared to seize control at 21-17, when Maestrejuan converted two kills and helped Lowry tie the set at 21. The teams traded points and the set was tied at 22, 23 and 24.
Lowry took its first lead at 25-24 on a Truckee miss hit but could not end the set. The Lady Bucks went back up 26-25 on a tip by Jacaway, only to see the Wolverines score the final three points and win the set.
The back-and-forth battle continued in the second set, with Kyllie Sappington giving Lowry a 3-2 advantage on an ace. The Wolverines gabbed an 11-7 lead midway through the set, when that was erased with a dual block by Montero and Jacaway to tie the set at 12.
Truckee went on a 4-1 run from there and did not trail again. Lowry picked up timely kills from Sappington, Jacaway and Maestrejuan, but could not get over the hump.
“Even though we lost the first two sets, I never felt we were out of it,” Eastman said. “We were in both sets and had chances to win the. Four of the five sets were decided by two points. We were never out of it when we were losing.”
It appeared Truckee was going to finish off the three-set sweep, racing out to a 6-2 lead in the third set. However, a block by Brooke Hansen helped spark a Lowry comeback.
Trailing 16-12, Jadyn Eastman provided a block of her own and had two aces to tie the set at 16. The Lady Bucks took their first lead at 17-16. Kills by Montero and Sappington helped Lowry maintain a two-point lead at 19-17. A missed serve by the Lady Bucks allowed the Wolverines to tie the set at 20.
The Lady Bucks scored the next four points, capped off by a kill by Maestrejuan and a tip by Tailor West. That lead quickly evaporated when Truckee reeled off four straight points, including a point where Lowry was called for a double hit on set point.
Lowry had set point again at 25-24 after a kill by Maestrejuan, but Truckee tied the set again at 25. The Lady Bucks took the lead for good on the next point on a kill by Maestrejuan and won the set on a hitting error by the Wolverines.
Lowry took control of the fourth set mid way through and used two tips by Sappington and an ace by Kepa Bengochea to seize a 17-11 advantage. The Lady Bucks led by as many as eight points and closed out the set on a kill by Maestrejuan.
The comeback looked for not, as the momentum Lowry collected in the last two sets quickly went away. Truckee jumped out to a 7-3 lead and appeared to have control of the final set.
However, the Lady Bucks inched closer and were within three points at 10-7 after a block by Hansen. Sappington followed with a kill, forcing Truckee to call a timeout.
Montero started a 5-0 run with a kill to give Lowry a 14-12 advantage, only to see Truckee come and go in front 15-14 on another double hit called on Lowry. The Lady Bucks caught a break on the next point, as Truckee missed a serve to tie the set at 15. Moments later, Lowry returned the favor with a missed serve giving the Wolverines match point at 16-15.
The Lady Bucks were able to hold off the match point and went ahead at 17-16 on a block by Hansen. Lowry completed the comeback on the next point with a kill by Maestrejuan.
“This all happened with a change we made in the middle,” Eastman said. “I put Brooke in there and she stepped huge. She had two huge blocks for us that helped us in that fifth set. I could not be more proud of her coming up with those two huge blocks. Sierra put away a ton of balls in the fifth set when we needed it.”
Lowry sweeps Sparks
Lowry had a much easier time on Saturday in Winnemucca, sweeping Sparks 25-3, 25-9 and 25-4 to finish the first half of the Northern 3A season at 6-2. Lowry is tied with Dayton, but the Dust Devils hold the tiebreaker. Fernley leads the league at 7-1, with its lone loss coming to Lowry.
Lowry is back on its home floor on Wednesday to play Spring Creek at 6 p.m. The Lady Bucks host South Tahoe on Saturday at 2 p.m.