3A state: Moapa Valley, Boulder City advance to title game

It was only seven days ago when Moapa Valley’s girls volleyball team lost its first match to rival Boulder City in over two years.

The Pirates wanted redemption, and now they’ll have the opportunity.

Eden Whitmore had 22 kills, five aces and three blocks, and Shelbi Walker added 15 kills, five blocks and two aces Friday night to lead Moapa Valley over Lowry in a Class 3A state semifinal at Faith Lutheran, 25-15, 25-15, 22-25, 26-24.

Moapa Valley (29-11) advances to face Boulder City (27-15-3) in the state final Saturday at 4 p.m.

“They all just stayed the course,” Pirates coach Mandie Matheson said. “Volleyball is very emotional — up and down. And my girls just continued to fight and didn’t get intimidated. They worked, and went after the gameplan. It proved to be worth it in the end.”

The Pirates, who were last season’s state runner-up, will look to avenge their four-set loss to the Eagles in last week’s Class 3A Southern Region final. Moapa Valley had won the previous six rivalry meetings, with the Eagles’ last win coming on Oct. 7, 2015.

(Boulder City coach) Cherise (Hinman) and I were talking about the possibility of having an all-south final,” Matheson said. “I think both of us are very excited about the opportunity to meet each other again. We’ve got to fight it out again.”

Matheson said she attended the Northen Region final last week between Lowry and Truckee “to make sure we had lots to go off of” and to devise a strong gameplan for Friday’s matchup.

It worked like a charm, as the Pirates are now just one win away from their first state title since 2003.

Matheson credited her team’s all-around play, especially that of senior star Whitmore, to grab an early, two-set lead.

“(Whitmore) did an awesome job for us tonight,” she said. “She came in with confidence and allowed herself to be the player we all know she can be. She did a really nice job all the way around.”

Aria Messer added 42 assists, three blocks and two aces for the Pirates, and teammate Abbie Evans had seven kills and five blocks.

Lowry ended its season 21-11.

Boulder City 3, Truckee 2 — At Faith Lutheran, Maggie Roe had 24 kills, 25 assists, five aces and three blocks to lead the Eagles to a 25-20, 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-10 win over the Wolverines in the other semifinal.

Kamry Bailey added 27 kills, three aces and 15 digs, and Ava Wright had 29 assists and six aces for Boulder City, which also got strong contributions from Ashleigh Wood (three aces, seven digs), Rachel Krumm (10 digs) and Jerra Hinson (four blocks).

Truckee ended its season 18-13.

Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at or 702-383-0430. Follow @af_ferguson on Twitter.

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