Photo submitted by Tiffany Swetich
JV & Varsity volleyball Ladycats won their first tournament this past weekend.

The Ely Times

The White Pine High volleyball team won its own season-opening tournament last weekend in Ely.

Coach Kenna Almberg was out of town part of the time and had to turn the coaching duties over to her assistants. Teams participating included were Lincoln County, Pahranagat Valley, West Wendover, Battle Mountain, Tonopah, Calvary Chapel and host White Pine. 

“I am very excited about the potential our team has this year,” Almberg said. “We have had a lot of girls put in the work through the off season and it is very evident on the court. We have a great team connection and it is fun to watch them work together to make things happen. 

“We have six returning seniors on varsity this year and five juniors. I feel like we are strong in every position with Madison Hendrickson and Olivia Hendrix as my two setters. They are both very athletic and running a 6-2 offense allows us to use them as hitters when they are in the front row as well. 

“Allie Thompson and Mia Kemler, did the most damage from the outside being very aggressive and always swinging to score points. Jill Van Tassell and Rachael Jones were a strong force in the middle shutting down most everything coming from our opponents with a block and really starting to connect with our setters on the quick tempo hits. 

“Defense is key to a winning team and both Maleana McKnight and Karleigh Romero did a great job getting good passes to our setters so we could run our offense. Isabella Ferrell, Nicole Whittaker and Anna Speakman-Watt played several positions throughout the tournament which was very helpful to have those players who have the ability to play wherever they are needed.”

The Bobcats had a few close games in the tournament but never lost a single game, winning every match in 2 straight sets. White Pine played West Wendover in the championship match and won 25-18, 25-15.

Helping Almberg with the coaching duties are Michael Berry, Mikalyn Almberg and Kendra Thompson,   

Assistant coach Michael Berry also led the JV squad to victory in their tournament.

On the schedule this weekend for the Bobcats is participation in the tournament at Battle Mountain featuring about a dozen teams. On Sept. 5, the team has a meeting with defending 1A state champion Pahranagat Valley in Alamo.