White Pine High School girl’s volleyball coach Kenna Almberg summed up the team’s close loss against The Meadows on Sept. 19 in Las Vegas in one sentence.
“I wish we could have a do-over,” Almberg said.
Losing both matches by two points to the Mustangs, 25-23 and 26-24, the Ladycats’ coach said unnecessary problems kept the team from leaving Vegas with a win.
“It was one of those games that came down to some missed serves and some unforced errors,” Almberg said.
The Meadows offensive attack seemed to also give the Ladycats generally solid blocking defense some trouble as well.
“We have good blockers on defense but they just weren’t hitting in a way that we could capitalize on that,” Almberg said, saying she was “disappointed” with the loss, but not with the individual performances of her athletes.
“Juliana Hall had a really good serving game, serving eight times in a row, including three aces, which really helped us get going,” Almberg said.
Junior Ashlynn Huntington led the team in kills both matches with six in one and seven in the other. Debra Kingston added three kills each match plus three blocks. Jaden Earnest’s four aces also drew some praise from the coach.
“They had a solid team but I think we should’ve beat them,” Almberg said.
Despite the loss, Almberg said she expects big things from her team this year and feels confident about the Ladycats’ playoff hopes.
“I’m actually very positive for this season. I think that we have a very good chance of going into the divisions as the number one from our conference,” Almberg said.
The coach pointed out to the Ladycats’ competitive match against the reigning state champions Yerington the week before as a good measuring stick for the team’s overall talent.
Yet with all that talent, the coach still has yet to name who the team’s “libero” will be for the remainder of the season. The position, which comes with an off color jersey, is usually awarded to the best defensive player on the team. The libero’s different color jersey allows the player to substitution into the game at any time, for any player in the back row of the court. The Ladycats still currently have to players vying for the position.
“I’d like it to be a prestigious position and have that libero jersey be something that is earned, rather than just given,” Almberg said. Competition is currently between Montana Hart and Mikalyn Almberg.
The Ladycats will have a chance to get back into the win column on Friday, as they will host Lincoln County in a double-header home series that will begin at 5 p.m. in the White Pine High School gymnasium.