In Alamo, Pahranagat Valley High School topped the Owyhee Braves 3-1 Nov. 9 to claim the Region II volleyball championship. Scores were 30-28, 15-25, 25-19, 25-16.
The win gave the Lady Panthers their first Region II title as this was the first year for the new NIAA regional setup. Previously, PVHS had won eight straight Southern League tournament titles.
The semifinal match with East league winner Wells was the toughest match. Wells won the first set, 25-17, and Coach Milly Walch said she told the Panther team “to swing at the ball more and attack harder.” And they did, taking the next three sets and the match 25-19, 25-22, 25-18.
“We knew the Wells defense would be really good. That is their biggest strength,” she said. “We knew we had to attack harder and score points off our hits, swing hard and hit holes.”
Owyhee, No. 2 in the east, had swept Green Valley Christian, No. 1 in the south, 3-0 in the first semifinal of the day.
PVHS and Owyhee would meet later in the afternoon for the championship.
On Friday, the first day of the tournament, all the matches were 3-0 affairs; Pahranagat over Eureka, Green Valley Christian over Jackpot, Wells over Beaver Dam and Owyhee over Beatty.
Scores in Pahranagat’s win over Eureka were 25-14, 25-16, 25-20.
But that wasn’t easy either. Walch said, “We were not attacking the way we should have been. Took us a while to get going, but when we did in each set, then Eureka was not able to stay with us.”
The championship match Saturday afternoon with Owyhee was not as thrilling as the semifinal with Wells, but was close nonetheless.
“Owyhee plays a slower style,” Walch said. “They have been doing that since I was here in high school. They just stay on your tail the whole time. You make a point, they make a point. They are slow, but right there when you turn around. They don’t quit.”
The Lady Panthers won the match 3-1. Scores were 30-28, 19-25, 25-19, 25-16.
The teams had not played one another since the state championship game in 2017 which the Panthers won 3-0.
Pahranagat Valley (19-14-1) will begin their run for a fourth straight and record 21st state championship overall with a semifinal tilt against Smith Valley (23-7) at 4 p.m. this Friday at Faith Lutheran.
The game marks the 24th consecutive year Pahranagat has appeared in the 1A state tournament semifinals, a state record in its own right.
In the Region I tournament between the West and Central Leagues, Virginia City edged Smith Valley High School (SVHS) 3-2 for the title. The Muckers had 3-0 wins over Coleville and Tonopah to reach the finals. Smith Valley had first swept both Whittell and Round Mountain.
Virginia City (22-6) will play Owyhee (18-8) in the first state semifinals Friday at 2 p.m. Pahranagat and Smith Valley will follow at 4 p.m.
It will be an interesting matchup between PVHS and SVHS because some of the same girls on the two teams played each other twice in the state softball tournament last May.