Pahranagat Valley High School girls volleyball has a distinction very few, if even any school in Nevada holds. They have been in the state finals for the past 17 consecutive years, and won the championship 14 times.
Starting the 2013 season, Coach Ginger Whipple, enters what is believed to be her 37th year.
“I have four returning seniors who will play for me this year, Bailey Hosier, Traci Strong, Kennedy Huntsman, (all three were First Team Division IV Southern League All-Star selections last season) and Cheyenne Harris. They will be my core, with great leadership skills. I will have lots of leadership on the floor,” she says.
Again this season, the Panther girls will not be very tall. A factor Whipple says they struggle with all the time. Perhaps so, but it did not keep the team from being 19-8 in 2012, and again advancing to the state finals where they lost 3-0 to league rival Tonopah, ending their own three-year run as state champs. Tonopah had league MVP Deanna Van Poucke and Coach of the Year Judy Boni.
“What we don’t have,” says Whipple, “is a pure hitter. Instead, these guys are scrappy and experienced on the hitting level.”
Junior Jamie Hansen will play at lot at the Libero position and in the backcourt. Whipple says, “She’ll be tough on defense, and one of our main players out there. And, I am going to try to make a setter out of (sophomore) Brook Higbee. She’s a ball player, she’s an athlete, she needs to be on the floor, as does (junior) Merinna Scott.”
In addition Whipple says, “We will probably have to pull up a couple of freshman from that large class, and see if they can help us in the middle.”
PVHS has a preseason game scheduled with Wells in Alamo, Aug. 29, at 5 p.m., the same day the boys host Wells in football. Whipple says she does not remember another time the Panther girls have played Wells.
Mixed in with the regular schedule are non-league games with Virgin Valley, Moapa Valley, The Meadows, Calvary Chapel, White Pine, Sunrise Mountain, and Lincoln County, plus appearances in the Pahrump Invitational and Lake Mead Invitational.
Play in the eight-team Southern league begins at Beatty, Sept. 20.
Assisting Whipple again this year will be her daughter Nikki Martin, and Susan Back will be in charge of the middle school program.