NORTH TAHOE, California — The Elko volleyball team made it through the North Tahoe Tournament without a loss, but the Lady Indians needed to avenge a tie in order to pull off the championship against the hosts.
Elko finished the tournament with a 5-0-1 record, its only non-win coming in a one-set-apiece battle during pool play against North Tahoe.
The Lady Indians opened the tournament with a straight-set win versus Oasis Academy by scores of 25-17 and 25-15.
In its second match, Elko split its two frames against North Tahoe — winning the first by a score of 25-16 but falling in the second by a score of 25-18.
Against Pyramid Lake, the Lady Indians rebounded with a lopsided victory — blowing out the Lady Lakers (also the same mascot as North Tahoe) by scores of 25-8 and 25-6.
Elko closed the pool-play portion of the tournament with a two-set win of 25-18 and 25-15 versus Mira Loma (California).
“We were the No. 1 seed from our pool. The difference came down to our 25-16 win over North Tahoe compared to their 25-18 win over us, those two points,” said Elko coach Cammie Nelson.
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In bracket play, No. 1 Elko took out Incline in straight sets — opening with a 25-19 win and pulling away by a score of 25-12 in the second game.
The rematch for the championship was set as No. 2 North Tahoe beat the other No. 1 seed, Quincy (California), in three sets.
The Lady Lakers lost the first set 25-23 in a tight game, but North Tahoe bounced back with a 25-20 victory in the second set — forcing a race to 15 in the third game.
North Tahoe prevailed, barely.
With a 15-13 victory, the Lady Lakers set the stage for the second meeting against Elko.
“They were a pretty tired when they played us. They had to go three games against Quincy, so we had to wait about 30 or 40 minutes for them to get ready,” Nelson said. “We had a little time to rest before the championship.”
In the final, the Lady Indians’ fresher legs and improved play proved to be too much — Elko avenging the pool-play tie with a straight-set win by comfortable margins of 25-14 and 25-17 for the championship.
“We struggled to find a high level of play during pool play,” Nelson said. “The girls stepped up in bracket play and played their best ball of the day in the championship, but we still did not play at the level I expect.”
The Lady Indians (1-0 in league) will get back to Division 3A North matches, making road appearances at 6 p.m. Friday against Dayton (1-0 in league) and noon Saturday versus South Tahoe (0-0 in league).