Ashlyn Huntington and Debra Kingston go to block a shot during their preseason tournament. (B.J. Almberg photo)

Ashlyn Huntington and Debra Kingston go to block a shot during their preseason tournament. (B.J. Almberg photo)

Jerilyn Ogden jumps to spike the ball over the net. (B.J. Almberg photo)

Jerilyn Ogden jumps to spike the ball over the net. (B.J. Almberg photo)

Going into their preseason home tournament against five other rural schools, White Pine High School’s volleyball coach Kenna Almberg felt confident in her team’s abilities. After both the varsity and junior varsity Ladycats both won the championship, she knew her teams were poised for success this season.

“It was a great start to the season,” Almberg said. “It confirmed that we have a lot of talent on the team.”

The varsity Ladycats managed to complete a clean sweep in their matches, not dropping a single game against their opponents throughout the tournament on their way to the championship. The Ladycats faced off against Jackpot, Tonopah, Wells, Battle Mountain and West Wendover. Almberg noted that the returning starters from last year’s team really stepped up.

“The leadership was great,” the coach said.

The junior varsity squad had things a little differently. After one of the schools was unable to produce enough players for their junior varsity team, White Pine split their squad into two, creating White Pine one and White Pine two.

“The only games they ended up losing were to each other and they ended up making it to the championship and played each other,” Almberg said. “So it was a pretty dominant tournament no matter how you split it.”

The coach called the preseason tournament a “fun, confidence booster” but is already looking ahead to the next, varsity-only tournament this weekend. As part of the Yerington Invitational, White Pine will face off against the Mustangs of Damonte Ranch out of Reno on Sept. 5 at 10 a.m. and against the Sierra Lutheran Falcons at 3 p.m. Almberg said the tournament will provide the team with stiffer competition.

“We are really going to see what our weaknesses are and what we need to work on during our next tournament,” she said. “But we still expect our girls to do well there.”

To see all the players on White Pine’s fall sports teams, come back next week for the Ely Time’s Fall Sports Special Section, featuring pictures of all the players and the team’s schedules.