Moapa Valley junior outside hitter Eden Whitmore came up big every time the Pirates’ girls volleyball team needed to stop a Boulder City rally.
Whitmore had 21 kills and three blocks to lead Moapa Valley to a 23-25, 25-12, 25-19, 25-19 win over the Eagles in the 3A Southern Region championship game Saturday at Coronado.
“I’m so excited. I’ve never gone this far,” Whitmore said. “We are going to keep pushing, and hopefully we can keep winning some games at state.”
The win sends Moapa Valley (26-10) to the state tournament as the No. 1 seed from the South. It was the Pirates’ first region title since 2008.
Moapa Valley started the match by opening up a 14-7 lead in the first set, but the Eagles, who were looking to avenge two earlier losses to the Pirates, rallied to take a 23-22 lead. Maggie Roe recorded a kill, and Kenadee Bailey ended the set with an ace to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The second set was all Moapa Valley. The Pirates jumped out to an 18-8 lead by taking better care of the ball and making better passes.
“We got into a couple of rotational situations, and it just kind of got us into a little bit of a funk,” Moapa Valley coach Mandie Matheson said. “After that, the girls realized they couldn’t let more than a couple of points go at a time. So, they fought tooth and nail to keep those points, the gaps smaller, and to make sure the server didn’t run away with the game.”
The Eagles (17-20) kept the third and fourth sets close, but Whitmore made big plays for Moapa Valley as her setters continued to give her kill opportunities.
Matheson clearly was proud of her star player, but she had just as much praise for the rest of her team.
“We have a roster of 10, and we literally have 10 girls that can step on that floor and compete with the best in the state,” she said. “For me, it’s a real pleasure and treat to be able to coach a team that deep.”
JaLea Blasingame had eight kills and six blocks for Moapa Valley, Dannika Gordon had eight kills, Kessa Evans had six aces, and Aria Messer dished out 21 assists and had five aces.
Roe had 23 kills, seven aces and 12 digs to lead the Eagles, who also will be playing in the state tournament as the No. 2 seed from the South.
Bailey had seven kills, nine digs and two aces, while Alea Lehr had four aces and dished out 44 assists for Boulder City.
Olivia Kaiser had 11 kills and 13 digs to lead Calvary Chapel to a 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 over The Meadows (26-10) in the Southern League championship at Panaca.
Calvary Chapel’s Lexi Davis had 31 assists and Michalla Odem had 11 digs.
Sara Hernandez added nine kills and Malia Lee had eight kills for the Lions (28-5).
Dani Mason led the Mustangs with six kills and 11 digs, and Anna Dorn added 17 digs for The Meadows.
The Meadows 3, Lincoln County 0 — At Panaca, Dorn had 12 kills, and Mason had nine kills and 17 digs to lead the Mustangs to a 25-14, 25-10, 25-10 victory over the Lynx in the Southern League semifinals.
Dina Kosyagin added nine kills, and Eden Miller had 32 assists for The Meadows.
Cameron Lloyd had 18 digs to lead Lincoln County..
Brooklyn Hafen had seven kills and four digs for the Lynx, Kendra Matthews had seven blocks and five kills, and Kailey Kelley had eight digs, five blocks and four kills.
Lincoln County’s Drew Cardinal added eight assists and five digs, and Hannah Lytle had six digs, three assists and two kills.
Calvary Chapel 3, Agassi Prep 0 — At Panaca, Hernandez had 11 aces to lead the Lions over the the Stars, 25-10, 25-15, 25-5 in the Southern League semifinals.
Davis had 17 assists for the Lions. Kaiser had five kills, Lee had four and Michalla Odem had three.
Pahranagat Valley 3, Beatty 0 — At Alamo, the host Panthers won the Southern League title with a 25-5, 25-10, 25-17 victory over Beatty.
Pahranagat Valley 3, Beaver Dam 0 — At Alamo, Alyson Egbert’s nine kills and four assists carried the Panthers over the Diamondbacks 25-9, 25-6, 25-12 in the Southern League semifinals.
Karley Whipple had eight kills, five assists and three digs for the Panthers, and Madison Harris had six assists, five digs and three kills. Allyse Frehner added 19 assists.
Beatty 3, Tonopah 2 — At Alamo, the Hornets defeated the Muckers, 17-25, 25-20, 25-15, 17-25, 15-13 in the Southern League semifinals.