Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
The Fernley High School girls softball team avenged an earlier loss at Lowry, and in the process pulled into a three-way tie for first place in the Northern 3A with a four-set win over the Buckaroos.
Fernley lost the first set and saw a late lead get away in the second before rallying to pull it out, and rode the momentum to the 18-25, 28-26, 25-21, 25-18 decision.
“I really the fight in my girls,” coach David Trujillo said. “They’re very competitive in practice and they come out and show their competitiveness in games. So I’m never concerned that they’re going to be out of games because they fight well in practice in practice and they fight well in games.”
The Vaqueros had to show that fight, after a 21-17 lead in the second set turned into a 24-23 deficit. Fernley twice staved off set point to even the match.
Lowry led much of the third set, but the Vaqueros fought back to tie the score six times, but never relinquished the lead after going ahead 20-19. Fernley went to the fourth set with a 2-1 advantage after Raye Arroyo’s clinching spike was deflected high in the air by a Lowry defender and bounced off the basket.
With Fernley leading 17-15 in the third set, Katelyn Garnett put Lowry on the ropes when tipped the ball into a hole in Lowry’s defense, the Arroyo delivered the knockout blows with three powerful kills.
“It’s about passing and we were passing in system tonight, and I thought both hitters hit the ball pretty well,” Trujillo said.
Aside from his team’s fight, Trujillo said the Vaqueros focus on the process of doing things fundamentally correct.
“I think in the second game we went back to doing things fundamentally correct, and carried that momentum to the third and fourth set,” he said.
Trujillo said he was unaware that Wednesday’s win put Fernley into a first-place tie with Lowry and Truckee at 9-3 in league play.
“If it does, we’re pretty proud of that,” he said. “I don’t look at the standings too often, but I’m more focused in how we’re doing and getting better.”
He said it was also a positive that the Vaqueros beat a team they lost to in the first meeting.
“I thought we went out there and we fought really well when we went to Lowry,” he said. “It was a great high school atmosphere and we lost, but here we were back at home and I think that’s always positive for our girls to play in front of their home crowd, and they seem to elevate their play here.”
The Vaqueros play at Sparks Friday night, then next Wednesday they go to Dayton, which handed them one of their three league losses the first time the teams met.
Trujillo has said there are seven pretty good teams in the league this year, and he expects every match, especially among those seven teams, to be hotly contested.
“I think it’s a dog fight,” he said. “We went out to Elko and played a really close game and Elko beat us and tonight it was a really close game, so I think we’re going to be in all those the rest of the year.”