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Local
Elko falls in 5 to Fernley, sweeps Fallon
 Anthony Mori  / 
 09.13.17

FALLON – One match went the distance, the other was short and sweet.

The Elko volleyball team experienced a difficult loss Friday to Fernley in five sets, rebounding Saturday with a straight-set win at Fallon.

The Lady Indians finished the opening week of Division 3A North play with a 1-1 record.

Versus Fernley

Losing a five-set match is a tough pill to swallow, having a two-set lead and then dropping three-consecutive frames is really hard.

The meeting marked the second of the year between the Lady Indians and the Lady Vaqueros, Fernley defeating Elko in the silver bracket championship on Aug. 26 in the Yerington tournament in a best-of-three contest.

Elko played much better volleyball in the early going Friday, winning each of the first two sets by scores of 25-22 and 25-21.

Fernley fought back and made adjustments to its game, winning the third set 25-18 and staving off elimination once again in the fourth by a score of 25-22.

In the deciding fifth frame, the Lady Vaqueros more than doubled the Lady Indians, 15-7.

“I think the girls figured that once they won the first two sets it was a done deal and that Fernley would just roll over,” said Elko coach Cammie Nelson. “Fernley changed the offense and started hitting down balls toward the corners instead of trying to hit balls at our block. Our defense never adjusted. Fernley’s number of kills probably doubled or tripled in the last three sets from the first two.”

Senior Lexi Baum paced the Lady Indians’ offensive attack, more than doubling the next-closest Elko player with 16 kills.

Juniors Elena Howe and Kaitlyn Rizo added seven kills each.

Senior setter Ashley Mountford led Elko with four aces and served at a 100-percent clip, while sophomore Cassie Spence and Howe each finished with three unreturned serves for points.

Junior Alexis Elquist served as Elko’s shot stopper at the net – leading the team with five blocks – and Spence added four stuffs.

Defensively, junior Jacqueline Pete came up with the most defensive digs along the backline with 21 and junior hitter Mollie Gallagher showed her defensive prowess as well with 19 digs, Baum adding 15.

“I told the girls the game was a learning experience; up two sets is not up three,” Nelson said. “On the other side, being down two sets is not the end of the world either. It showed them that a team can shift it and fight back if you’re down two sets.”

Versus Fallon

Nelson said Elko was a “different team mentally” on Saturday in Fallon, remaining locked in and making the adjustments necessary in a straight-set win.

“Fallon is a different team than Fernley. They don’t have as much power, so they played a lot of fast-paced balls and had us on our heels,” Nelson said. “The girls made the adjustments to the different style and started moving better. We played a much more consistent game all the way around. We served better, passed better and had a better kill-to-error ratio.”

Fallon’s quick offensive attack set up the closest sets in the early frames, Elko coming away with victories of 25-22 and 25-21 in the first two games.

The Lady Indians’ advantage in length, size and power became more evident as the match progressed and Elko closed the show in the third set by a score of 25-14 for a double-digit win in the clincher.

Elko’s offensive attack was better-rounded against Fallon, as Gallagher and Howe tied for the team high with nine kills apiece.

Baum added eight kills.

Howe also led the Lady Indians with three blocks and added two aces – Elquist also serving up two points.

Spence led Elko with four aces and blocked two shots.

Defensively, Baum was more of a focal point and tied Pete – each closing with 19 digs.

Elko’s next test will be a big one, playing on the road at 6 p.m. Friday against South Tahoe – a team which has already beaten the Lady Indians twice in a preseason tournament.

The Lady Vikings beat the Lady Indians in a best-of-three match on Sept. 2 during pool play of the North Tahoe tournament, taking Elko down once again by a score of 25-18 in a one-set battle in the tournament championship.

“We have already seen them twice. We really have to step up our blocking,” Nelson said. “South Tahoe has two big middle hitters.”

The Lady Indians will close the road trip against Dayton.

“They lost the one set of twins but the other twins are back,” Nelson said.

Dayton graduated twin sisters Kallie and Kassie Strong but returns senior twin hitters Ashley and Rebecca Mason, also bringing back junior star hitter Brianda Diaz – who ranked fourth in the league with 154 kills as a sophomore.

The Lady Dust Devils earned the No. 3 seed of the 2016 regional tournament with an 11-5 record, defeating the Lady Indians in a five-set match on Sept. 10, 2016, in Elko and sweeping the regular-season series with a three-set win on Oct. 8, 2016, in Dayton.

As the No. 6 seed, Elko’s season came to a close with another straight-set loss to Dayton on Nov. 4, 2016, during the opening round of the regional tournament in Fallon.

Dayton advanced to the 2016 state tournament before falling to Moapa Valley in a five-set battle in the state semifinal.

Elko will attempt to shift the recent struggles against the Lady Dust Devils at noon Saturday in Dayton.


Sports
21 club: Indians set AL record with 21st straight win
 
 09.13.17

CLEVELAND — For more than 100 years, American League teams have gone on winning streaks of varying lengths — short ones, long ones, double-digit ones.

Nothing, though, like the one the Cleveland Indians have pieced together.

A streak for the ages.

Moving past the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics, the Indians set the AL record with their 21st straight win on Wednesday, 5-3 over the Detroit Tigers, to join only two other teams in the past 101 years to win that many consecutive games.

Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3) and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his fourth straight start as the Indians, a team with its sights set on ending the majors’ longest World Series title drought, matched the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest streak since 1900.

And in doing so, they separated themselves from every AL team since the league was formed in 1901.

“Who would’ve ever thought that we’d be in this situation?” Bruce said. “I can’t even imagine.”

Believe it.

Now that they’ve moved past those 2002 A’s immortalized on film, the Indians are within five wins of catching the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 straight without a loss but whose century-old mark includes a tie.

The Indians haven’t lost in 20 days, and they’ve rarely been challenged during a late-season run in which they’ve dominated every aspect of the game.

“I think they’re enjoying themselves,” manager Terry Francona said as clubhouse music boomed in the background. “They should. I think what’s kind of cool about our game is when you do things, and you do them the right way, I think it means more. Our guys are playing the game to win, the right way.

“That part’s very meaningful. They should enjoy what they’re doing. It’s pretty special.”

After leading 4-1, the Indians had to overcome a costly error and rely on their bullpen to hold off the Tigers, who have lost 11 of 12 to Cleveland and saw manager Brad Ausmus and catcher James McCann ejected from the series finale.

Roberto Perez added a homer in the seventh and four Cleveland relievers finished, with Cody Allen working the ninth for his 27th save.

With the crowd of 29,346 standing and stomping, Allen retired Ian Kinsler on a sinking liner for the final out, giving the Indians the league’s longest streak since the AL was founded 116 years ago.

There was no big celebration afterward as the Indians simply congratulated one another and stuck to their routine.

“We’re so focused,” said Bruce, who arrived via trade last month from the New York Mets. “I thought we were playing the Royals today. ... Everyone comes here and gets ready to play today and I think that’s something that speaks volumes.”

During their streak, which began with a 13-6 win over Boston ace Chris Sale on Aug. 23, the Indians have rarely been tied, never mind equaled, for nine innings. They have been superior in every way possible.

Cleveland’s starters have gone 19-0 with a 1.70 ERA, they’ve outscored their opponents 139-35 and trailed in only four of 189 innings.

Incredibly, the Indians have hit more home runs (40) than their pitchers have given up in total runs.

And while they’ve racked up win after win, the defending AL champs have reduced their magic number for winning their second straight AL Central title to four. They’ve also passed Houston for the league’s best record, which will come into play in the postseason as the team with the best overall mark will have home-field advantage.

Now that they’re alongside the 1935 Cubs, the Indians have a realistic shot of running down the 1916 Giants.

Cleveland opens four-game series on Thursday against Kansas City, which was outscored 20-0 on its three-day visit last month.

Francona was asked if he thought the Giants’ run should be the record since it includes a tie.

“I wasn’t there,” he said, drawing laughter. “I’ve given that zero thought. I promise you I’ve given it no thought.”

With a shot at AL history, Clevinger took the mound with Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” blasting through the ballpark’s sound system, and Cleveland’s crowd came to rock — and witness history — on a mostly sunny day.

Some parents kept their kids home from school and brought them to Progressive Field to see a once-in-a-lifetime event Cleveland residents may remember more than any solar eclipse. They cheered every two-strike count like it was October and there was something much bigger on the line. The Indians have viewed the streak as a perfect postseason warmup as they try to end a Series title drought dating to 1948.

Clevinger, who didn’t allow a run in 18 innings over his three previous starts, was down 1-0 in the first after Jeimer Candelario touched him for a two-out RBI double.

But as they have done for the past three weeks, the Indians responded, with Bruce connecting for a three-run shot into the left-field bleachers.

“Expected, I would say by now,” Clevinger said of the Indians’ 3-run answer. “I don’t think there was a second that I doubted we were going to score some runs or string together some hits.”

SIZZLING SEPTEMBER

At 14-0, the Indians are off to the best start in September since the 1991 Minnesota Twins went 15-0.

TESTY TIGERS

Two batters after Ausms and McCann were ejected, a pitch from Farmer eluded catcher John Hicks, who had just entered the game, and struck plate umpire Quinn Wolcott in the chest.

Farmer disputed that the Tigers would try to intentionally hit Wolcott.

“The fact that’s even a question is appalling,” Farmer said. “It shouldn’t be a question. When you look at the situation it’s stupid to even think about. It shouldn’t even be a thought from anybody that Hicks and I would do that.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: OF Mikie Mahtook missed his fifth consecutive game after being scratched from a Sept. 9 game against Toronto with left groin soreness. Ausmus said Mahtook was “getting closer, but he’s not ready.”

Indians: All-Star reliever Andrew Miller will be activated from the disabled list Thursday following his second stint on the disabled list with knee tendinitis.

UP NEXT

The Indians’ Josh Tomlin, who is 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last six outings, starts the opener against Royals rookie Jakob Junis.


Local
Old scoreboard finds new location
 Anthony Mori  / 
 09.13.17

ELKO – At the next Elko High School football game, spectators may sense of feeling of nostalgia.

While the scoreboard will remain intact beyond the north end zone, fans will also be pleased to find the old scoreboard – the top portion of it anyway – has returned to the friendly confines of Warrior Field in the southeast corner near the main entrance.

The old scoreboard, which had been in place for a period of time Elko coach Luke Sellers thought was “20-25 years,” was removed between the 2012 and 2013 football seasons.

The top portion of the scoreboard was salvaged and remained in storage until June, when it was handed over to Karie Denham.

Denham teaches for the private-school Paris Academy and also teaches classes for the Elko County Art Club.

On the side, Denham said she specializes in “refurbishing, refinishing and restoring” but does “all different things in the art world.”

“I’ve had the scoreboard for a couple months,” she said. “I thought I may get lucky and just be able to go over the old layer with a new one, but it was very oxidized and required a lot of cleaning and sanding.”

Denham said her log book indicated she put in 62 hours of work in restoring the original board.

“What you see is several layers over the original one,” she said. “The most time-consuming part of the project was waiting for things to dry before I could move to the next layer.”

The “new” old scoreboard was installed Wednesday and will serve as clarity of the object from years past.


Sports
Texans LB Brian Cushing suspended 10 games by NFL
 
 09.13.17

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended for 10 games by the NFL for violating the league’s performance enhancers policy.

It’s the second time Cushing has been suspended; he missed four games in 2010 under the same policy, testing positive for a fertility drug. Cushing had won 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year, an honor which was jeopardized by the suspension. He kept the award after a revote by The Associated Press’ awards panel.

Currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol after being injured in Houston’s opening loss to Jacksonville, Cushing will be eligible to return on Nov. 28.

Cushing has had a checkered career since his sensational rookie season. Injuries curtailed the 2012 and ‘13 seasons, when he got into a total of 12 games. He’s never come close to matching his first-year production of 86 tackles, 47 assists, four sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and 10 passes defensed.

The 2009 defensive rookie revote came after Cushing tested positive for HCG, a fertility drug that is on the NFL’s banned substance list. He had one positive test from a urine sample taken in September 2009, then subsequently tested negative several times.

But when his suspension was announced the following May, the AP called for another ballot. Cushing didn’t receive anywhere near the 39 votes of his previous landslide victory, but the 18 he got were enough to reclaim the honor.

In the revote, Cushing finished five votes ahead of then-Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd. Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews III got 12, then-Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo earned three votes, and then-St. Louis linebacker James Laurinaitis got one.

Three voters abstained.

The 30-year-old Cushing would not have suited up in Thursday night’s game at Cincinnati because of his concussion. Now, the Texans must wait two more months for his return.