White Pine Middle School Ladycats with their Championship trophy.

By Janet Walker

Special to the Times

The White Pine Middle School Volleyball Team departed at 5 am to travel to Round Mountain, Nevada this past Saturday to compete against seven other rural Nevada teams in the Junior High League Tournament.  Their battle was endless, game after game, as they worked their way to becoming Champions.  Coach Walker, “I’ve never been so proud of these girls, they worked so hard and played as a team and it paid off. They deserved that trophy.”

The girls had an amazing season building up to this tournament and were very hopeful to take home the trophy. Throughout the season they had won all but one game against Eureka. Walker, “The girls had a tough game going in and were nervous, they had only played Tonopah one other time in the season, and it was their very first weekend. We knew they had improved since then.”

The girls started strong and won the first game of the match, then they went out for the second game and struggled a bit, which led into  a third game. The Lady cats prevailed in the end and won the match.

The second match was against Battle Mountain, whom they had played many times this season, and hadn’t lost to yet. The girls went in with very high heads and won the match in two very well played games. They needed to beat Eureka to be in the championship game. They started out rough and lost the first game, won the second, but were defeated in the last game to 15. In order for the girls to win the tournament, it was a long road ahead, and they knew it. They would have to beat Tonopah and then Eureka twice in order to win. In the end it would be four long matches in a row.

The girls started the next game against Tonopah with high heads and a ton of energy, and it paid off. They beat Tonopah in two games to win the match. At this point, they knew how hard they were going to have to work and were ready to dig deep. The first match against Eureka was tight, some super long volleys and some super amazing saves by both White Pine and Eureka, it was evenly matched and fun to watch. White Pine won the first, let the second one slip, but prevailed again in the third game to win the first match. They still needed to win one more time to be the champs.  Coach Kylie McQueen commented on the teams efforts, “I’m so proud of our girls, coming back from 3 games to take the championship.  Every single one of the girls showed so much heart.  They left all the blood, sweat, and tars on the court and never back down.  It was such an awesome experience to be apart of, and I’m so exited to see how far they go in the future.”

At this point, the girls were amped and ready to do whatever it took to win. The first game started and it was tight again, back and forth, point by point, but in the end, the Lady cats took the win by five.

Going into the second game, the girls were at an all-time high. They were working together and ready to win as a team. They took the court and immediately took a decent size lead, allowing them to run with the win until the end. The girls finished the second game with the Win and were officially the champs! Teamwork from the entire team was highly displayed as team member, Macayla Bybee said, “We all felt like it was relieving to reach our goal that we worked so hard for, and the important parts were when we had all come together, when we made a point.”

They were lucky enough to have a decent sized cheering crowd of parents and the Lund Volleyball team cheered them on until the end! The A team this year was made entirely of eight graders that will all be moving up to the high school level next year and we are excited to see what they contribute to the JV team.

Coach Nicole West, “I’m incredibly proud of these girls. They improved so much this season, both as individuals and as a team.  They stuck together and kept a positive attitude even when things go tough.  Their determination is inspiring.