Pahranagat Valley opened its 2017 volleyball season by going 3-4 in the Las Vegas Invitational tournament over the Labor Day weekend.
“We made a decent showing,” said Coach Ginger Whipple. Even as the smallest school in a tournament with 32 teams in several divisions, Pahranagat Valley beat two California schools, one which was a defending league champion, and lost a close match to a school from Salt Lake City that was also league champion last year.
“We got better as the tournament progressed,” she said. “A little overpowered by some of the teams of stronger competition, with taller players and bigger front lines, but we stayed with them for the most part. We began to exhibit more confidence, more ball control, playing as a team, more communication.”
In retrospect, Whipple said, “I feel very confident that the teams we played had to play their game to beat us. I feel like we competed, which is what we wanted to do. I’m not disappointed a bit.”
The girls started on Friday with a match against 4A powerhouse Centennial and lost in two games, 25-11, 25-19.
They then played Sylmar, California, a town north of Pasadena, and won by scores of 25-19, 25-18.
The final game Friday was with Skyline High of Salt Lake City, the defending 4A Region 6 league champion, whom they played close, only losing by scores of 25-19, 25-20.
“We were happy with the result,” Whipple said. “We held our own with those guys. But we let them get too many runs on us and made too many mistakes we don’t normally make early in the season.”
Saturday saw the girls played four matches. The first was with Rancho from Las Vegas, which the Lady Panthers won 25-21, 25-14. Next up was Sierra Vista of Las Vegas, which beat PVHS 25-23, 25-16.
The first of two mid-afternoon games on Saturday pitted Pahranagat against Van Nuys, California, which they won 25-17, 27-25. Then the girls had to turn right around an hour later and play Foothill of Las Vegas, losing by scores of 25-19, 25-18.
Two of the matches won in the tournament were against California teams and it is interesting to note that both Sylmar and Van Nuys come from the same Valley Mission League of the northern Los Angeles area. Sylmar was the league champion in 2016 but lost out in the first round of the playoffs.
This week, Pahranagat had a match at Moapa Valley on Sept. 7 and played at Pahrump Valley on Saturday. The girls face defending 2A state champion Calvary Chapel on Sept. 12 at Calvary.
In the past 10 years, PVHS has been 12-8 against Calvary Chapel, although they did lose 3-1 to the Lions last year.
Against Pahrump Valley, the girls are 3-1 in the only four matches played between the two since 2007.
The first home match for the Lady Panthers is Sept. 22 with Round Mountain at 5 p.m. before the football game.