Special to The Ely Times

Tuning up for league play, White Pine volleyball traveled to Wells Sept. 12 for a non-league and after a slow start, got their game together and rolled the  Leopards 3-1. Scores were 22-25, 25-19, 25-8, 25-12.

This past weekend, the Ladycats (15-2, 2-2) opened league play with an overnight road trip to North Tahoe and Incline and came away with a split.

North Tahoe won the first set of the match 22-25, but again White Pine rallied to take the next three 25-19, 25-21, 25-15. “Starting slow seems to be our thing,” said coach Kenna Almberg. “We have a hard time getting things going, with serving and hitting errors and giving up points to the other team to build up a sizeable lead. We have also been working on playing a faster offense, where we set the ball not as high, giving the opponents less time to read where the hit is going and get their defenders in position. “Been kind of tough on the girls, because they want to go back to whatever is safe. But I was very, very pleased with them trying to run the shorter set, and we are getting much better at it. Timing and communication is quite an issue with that style of play, more difficult admittedly, but the girls were doing pretty well in the last three sets at North Tahoe and scored a lot of points, harder to defend against.”White Pine’s Madison Rick had eight kills in the match followed by Brittany Kingston with seven. For the Lakers (3-5, 2-2), Sarah Shoberg had 12 kills.

Almberg had high praise for Nina Lopez who recorded 27 digs and Hailey Ernest had 23.On Saturday, they played at Incline (11-5, 4-0) a back and forth match,  losing 3-2. Scores were 15-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-19 and 12-15.  “It could have gone our way, too,” Almberg said. “We were down 4-13 in the fifth set, but Rick scored seven straight points for us,” Then Incline managed to get the final two points to take the  and match. “I expected this would be a tough match,” she said, “fluxuating back and forth.”On Tuesday this week, White Pine had a non-league match with 1A powerhouse Pahranagat Valley, the first of two meetings with the Panthers this season. White Pine prevailed 3-2 in what was described as an “exciting, close five-set match.”  The teams will meet again near the end of the season, Oct. 25, in Alamo.

This weekend, White Pine begins a six-match road schedule beginning Friday at Battle Mountain, (0-6), 0-4) then Saturday at Pershing County (7-6, 2-2). They do not play at home again until Oct. 13-14, hosting North Tahoe and Incline.