Owyhee Lady Braves 1A North volleyball champions

The Owyhee volleyball team celebrates is third straight appearance in the state tournament after winning its second-consecutive regional championship Saturday at Wooster High School. The Lady Braves are the No. 1 seed from the North and will take on South No. 2 Tonopah at 3:50 p.m. Friday during the 1A state semifinal round in Gym 2 at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas.

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RENO – Book yourselves a spot in state, Lady Braves.

Owyhee’s volleyball team is not just going to state for the third straight season, the Lady Braves will enter with a No. 1 seed after claiming their second-consecutive regional championship.

The Lady Braves went through the Division 1A North competition with a 3-0 record at Wooster High School.

Quarterfinal

Northern-East No. 1 Owyhee opened its tournament run with a straight-set victory Friday over Northern-West No. 4 Smith Valley: 25-21, 25-13 and 25-20.

Senior Sky Pete set up the offense as usual for Owyhee.

The reigning league MVP dished 33 assists and served a team-high three aces.

Senior Rachel Gallego paced the hitters with a team-best 12 kills, firing two aces.

The Lady Braves’ backline defense was led by junior Cree-Lynn Raining Bird, who came up with 27 digs and put down six kills.

The defense at the net was sparked by a team-best four blocks by junior Macee McKinney, who added nine kills and two aces.

Junior Destiny Max made 16 receptions and junior Gabriella Barr put away five shots and came up with three digs.

The Lady Braves advanced to the regional semifinal for a match against Northern-West No. 2 Sierra Lutheran.

Semifinal

The Lady Braves dished out another three-set victory Saturday morning, defeating the Lady Falcons by final scores of 25-18, 25-11 and 25-7.

Pete was on fire behind the end line, serving up six aces.

She also made 28 assists.

Barr and Gallego each drilled 10 putaways, Raining Bird adding seven kills and McKinney finishing with six.

Sophomore setter Trinity Thomas made five assists, matching the number of digs by Max.

Championship

For the first time of the tournament, the Lady Braves had to a play a match beyond three sets – going four frames against Northern-West No. 3 Virginia City in the regional final.

The number of sets was a landslide, Owyhee winning 3-1, but the scores of the match were very close.

Virginia City actually took the opening frame, winning comfortably by a final score of 25-17.

Owyhee bounced back and won a tough battle in the second set, 25-23, earning a 25-20 victory in the third frame.

Facing elimination, the Lady Muckers did not go quietly.

The Lady Braves withstood another hard-fought set by a final of 25-23, capping their second straight regional title on Saturday afternoon.

Pete finished with a tournament-high 38 assists, making five kills of her own.

McKinney tied for the team high with 12 kills and led Owyhee with blocked four shots.

Gallego tallied 12 kills as well, leading the Lady Braves with three aces.

Max came up with a team-high 24 receptions.

Barr finished with eight kills and five digs, while Raining Bird made five putaways and three digs.

The Lady Braves and the Lady Muckers will represent the North at the state volleyball tournament.

State

North No. 2 Virginia City will kick off the Division 1A Nevada State Volleyball Championships against South No. 1 Pahranagat Valley at 2 p.m. Friday in Gym 2 at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas.

Entering as the No. 1 seed of the North, Owyhee will take on South No. 2 Tonopah in the other 1A state semifinal, tipping off at 3:50 p.m. Friday in Gym 2.

The winners will advance to the 1A state championship game, which will take place after a venue change to Gym 1 of Faith Lutheran High School at noon Saturday.

Congratulations to the Lady Braves of Owyhee for notching three trips to state in a row, culminated by back-to-back regional championships.

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