Special to The Ely Times
White Pine High’s volleyball team essentially dominated the competition at the Labor Day weekend tournament in Battle Mountain.
Coach Kenna Almberg, who couldn’t be with the team, being involved in a family wedding, said assistant coach Rocky Jones handled the team, and reported “the girls played really well.” Pool play was held on Friday and Saturday, which the girls breezed through, winning all matches in straight sets, 2-0. They faced teams from Spring Creek, Elko, Battle Mountain, Carlin and Smith Valley.
Bracket play was on Saturday and in the semi-final match the girls played Owyhee, 1A state runner-up last year, and had to go four games with the Braves before taking the match 3-1 to advance to the finals.
The championship match against Pershing County saw the Ladycats win that 2-0. Individual game scores were not available.
Almberg said Jones reported it was sometimes hard to play games competitively when the scores were quite low, maybe the other team only managing five or eight points. “The girls got a lot of practice running their offense and keeping their own intensity up.”White Pine opens league play today and Saturday hosting Yerington and Silver Stage. The Lions are the four-time defending 2A Northern league regular season champions and two-time defending regional tournament champions. The Bobcat girls have not beaten Yerington in the past five years, 0-10 against them. With Silver Stage it is a different story, as the girls have a 6-0 record against the Nighthawks since 2010. The following weekend, Sept. 15-16, the girls will be on the road to play at North Valley and Incline.
On Sept. 19, White Pine will host defending 1A state champion Pahranagat Valley. The Panthers are the only non-league team the Bobcats play twice this season. Pahranagat Valley coach Ginger Whipple said the reason for that was “they needed a couple of matches with quality competition and White Pine is always quality competition.”The teams play Sept. 19 in Ely and in Alamo Oct. 25. Pahranagat Valley leads the series 5-4 since 2008.