Calvary Chapel and Lincoln County were the Division III Southern League representatives in the state tournament last year. However, both lost in the semi-finals to the Northern Division teams, Lincoln losing 3-0 to eventual state champion Yerington.
Coach Ken Thornock’s girls were 20-11 on the year, listed as the No. 3 seed into the league tournament, but knocked off The Meadows 3-1 in the first round advancing to their sixth state tournament in the last eight years.
They have been in the Southern Division league playoffs for the past 17 years consecutive years. The Lady Lynx once had a three-year run as state champion, 1997-1999, and their first in 1989.
This years non-league schedule, Lincoln has matches with in-county rival Pahranagat Valley, the defending Division IV state champions, in Alamo Sept. 2, and in Panaca Nov. 2.
Thornock, in his 21st year, will look to replace last years Second Team All-League selection Chelsea Lloyd, plus Kaylee Teel and Jaycee Wadsworth, but does have First Team selection Kayla Mathews returning.
Two other returning lettermen figure to be key for the Lynx season, senior Jill Katschke and junior Chesnee Harding. “I’ve got an outside, middle, and my setter,” Thornock said. Junior Hannah Hafen also returns to the varsity squad, he said. “And we have some other juniors and sophomores coming up that are good players, vying for spots.
Lincoln also is having open gym this week for the players, but per NIAA rules, official practice will not start until Aug. 18.
The Lynx open the season participating in The Meadows tournament Aug. 29-30. “It’s usually an 8-team tourney,” Thornock said. “One of the reason’s I like to play in it, is Pershing County is usually there, and we go look at them.” Pershing County (Lovelock) was the 2012 Division III state champion. Yerington in the defending state champion.
In mid-September, the Lynx play in the Boulder City Invitational. “It’s a bigger tournament and good experience for us, playing some really good, tough teams,” he said.
Thornock believes Calvary Chapel and The Meadows will again be tough in league, although the Mustangs did graduate six players.
White Pine rejoins the Southern League, having spent four years in the Northern Division. “They’ll be tough,” Thornock said. The Lady Bobcats were 20-12 last year, but lost to state runner-up Pershing County in the league tournament semi-finals.