Two teams with the best records in Division IV volleyball will hope to face each other again this weekend in the championship match of the state tournament.
Smith Valley and Pahranagat Valley met last year in the title game and the Panthers surprised the Bulldogs 3-1 and won their second straight championship.
Now the same teams are in the semifinals again at Foothill High in Henderson this afternoon and Saturday.
The Lady Panthers (24-6) will face No. 2 Northern seed Owyhee (8-2) in one match today at 2:30, followed by No. 1 Northern seed Smith Valley (30-2-2) and Beatty (13-6) at 4:20. The championship match will be Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
Last week, in Alamo, PVHS won the Division IV Southern title for the third straight time with wins over Indian Springs 25-5, 25-10, 25-20, then over Beatty 25-15, 25-17, 25-13.
Beatty had upset No. 2 seed Sandy Valley in the other semifinal 3-1 on scores of 25-23, 15-25, 25-22, 25-17. It marks the second consecutive visit for Beatty to the state tournament, but kept Sandy Valley from making their first ever trip to state. It is also the second year in a row Beatty has knocked Sandy Valley out.
Panthers coach Ginger Whipple said the girls third game in the championship match was like many others they have played this season. “We tend to lose focus when we’re playing a team that is struggling a little bit with us. But they did make a run on us. Beatty’s a scrappy team, they don’t quit, and we had to regather and finish the set.”
However, she noted that overall, “the team played very well, a team effort. It was good to get that first match, because you can’t go to state without that first win. Once that happened, I thought, let’s see if they maintain that competitiveness.”
Pahranagat Valley has not played Owyhee in several years Whipple said. “We don’t really know what to expect. We do know they have a middle blocker (junior Kaira Egan) that is 6-2. So we’ll be trying to swing around a big middle.”
The last meeting between Pahranagat and Owyhee was in 2008 when Alamo won 3-0 in the state semifinals.