Ginger Whipple had admitted earlier she was concerned about the team’s weakness in the middle as they were preparing for a non-league match at Division 1-A Moapa Valley last week.
And in a close loss the first game her concerns were warranted. But PVHS managed to pull it together and take a 3-1 win over the Pirates (17-7). Scores were 26-28, 25-22, 26-16, 25-17.
“We had to make a few different position assignments against Moapa, but it made a big difference,” Whipple said. “I moved Madison Harris to middle and Gracie Carter took the other outside. That seemed to work pretty well for us. We had the opportunity to go through our rotations a little better. It was a good combination, and we stuck with it.”
Karley Whipple had 19 kills, six aces and 22 digs for the Panthers. Carter added nine kills and six digs and Brook Higbee had 16 digs and two aces for PVHS. Allyse Frehner had 24 assists for the Panthers.
“It was a good challenge for us,” Whipple said. “We went in there knowing it was going to be a battle. We had studied them and we were just able to do some things. Everything just clicked for us. We passed better, served better, more success at the net blocking hits. We kind of had them on their heels. I think Moapa might have thought they knew what we were going to do, and we surprised them with some different looks.”
Back in league action last Friday at second place Sandy Valley, the Panthers (20-6, 7-0) were 25-14, 25-15, 25-20 winners over the Sidewinders (15-2, 5-1).
This week on Thursday, the Panther girls closed out the regular season at home against last place Round Mountain (2-10, 1-6).
Up next, a tune-up match with in-county rival Lincoln County (17-11, 10-4) Nov. 3 in Alamo.
The tune-up is to get the team ready for the Southern Division IV league tournament Nov. 4-7.
As the first place team in the league, PVHS and second place Sandy Valley earn first round byes. Both move directly to the semi-finals to be played Nov. 6-7 at a site yet to be determined.
Pahranagat Valley is the two-time defending league tournament champion as well as the two-time defending state champions.
In the Northern Division IV, Smith Valley, Sage Ridge (Reno), and Virginia City are the leaders. In the west, Smith Valley is 26-2-2, Sage Ridge 9-4, and Virginia City 17-4 are the leaders. In the east, it is Wells at 12-9.
The Northern Division tournament is Nov. 6-7 at Wooster High in Reno.
The state tournament is Nov. 13-14 at Foothill High in Henderson.