Three matches in three days. Quite a task, and reminiscent of tournament play in the preseason.
For Pahranagat Valley girls volleyball, that’s the way they ended the regular season and got ready for the league tournament this week.
As the No. 1 seed in the 1A Southern Division, PVHS gets a bye to the semi-finals which will be in Alamo this Saturday.
Regarding those three straight matches, on Oct. 24, the Lady Panthers took a 3-1 win over 3A Virgin Valley; on Oct. 25 they had a thrilling 3-1 win over White Pine; and on Thursday, Nevada Day, the final league match was a 3-0 win at Beatty.
Then the girls added even one more match on Monday this week just to keep a sharp edge, with a 3-0 win over Lincoln County. Scores were 25-10, 25-15, 25-13. It was the second meeting between the teams this season. Pahranagat also won the match in Panaca on Sept. 19.
Panther coach Ginger Whipple said, “We always try to schedule Lincoln or a larger school just before playoffs, a good way to start our week.”
The match on Oct. 25 with White Pine, (26-4, second place in the 2A Northern League), was of particular significance. It was the first time Pahranagat had beaten the Lady Bobcats since September 2013. And they did it in surprising fashion, racing off to big leads in taking the first two sets, 25-19, 25-13. White Pine came back with a 17-8 lead in the third set and managed to hang on for a 25-17 win.
The fourth set also started off in favor of the Bobcats, but the Panthers managed to tie the score a couple of times, then at 18-18, pulled ahead for the 25-21 win.
White Pine coach Kenna Almberg said she had expected a tough match with Pahranagat Valley, but what she did not expect was the number of service errors the Ladycats made. “Hard to come back from giving away those first two sets. Our serve-receive was awful today, it really struggled. That was the key. Alamo’s defense was fantastic. They cover the court really well.”
Whipple agreed with Almberg’s assessment, saying she also thought that’s what it came down to the serve-receive game. “I was surprised more than anything at White Pine’s missing so many serves. That’s what hurt them, and is not indicative of White Pine.”
She said the Panthers played very well, working as a unit, “had really strong serves and did not let down much in the second set,” which has often been a problem.
Whipple stated she was confident heading into the match because of the improvements the girls have made. “We played very poorly at White Pine (Sept. 19, losing 3-2), but still went to five. And I thought if we could play our game, we could have a win. I was proud of the girls not faltering in the second set.”
White Pine finished their regular season with over West Wendover the following day and will now head to the 2A Northern Region tournament at Fernley High Nov. 3-4.