BOULDER CITY INVITE: Las Vegas rallies back from opening-round loss to take title

Las Vegas High’s girls volleyball team didn’t let an opening-round loss in the Boulder City Invitational turn into a bad weekend.

The Wildcats, who fell in their first pool-play match Friday, stormed back to capture the tournament championship, downing Basic, 25-21, 25-19 in the final on Saturday.

“This is super exciting,” Las Vegas coach Sue Thurman said. “We have a lot of seniors – 11 – on our team. We don’t have any real club players. We do have two- and three-sport athletes who work hard, want to compete, have good, positive attitudes and are enjoyable to work with. I’m happy for them.”

In the first set, Las Vegas and Basic traded short runs until Shaleea Butler gave the Wildcats the serve and a 23-21 lead. Butler secured the set with one of her nine kills to give Las Vegas a 25-21 victory. The second set also was tight early, but the Wildcats used several short runs to pull away for the championship.

The Wildcats (12-6) were led by Butler, who added six digs. Middle hitter Charlai Francis recorded five kills and two blocks. Sam Remer posted 13 digs and five kills. Matti Ventling had 21 assists, and Cierra Turner had 13 digs.

Autumn Philipczyk had four kills for Basic.

“It’s hard to say who was outstanding because everyone plays a great role,” Thurman said. “Matti distributes the ball really well. Shaleea, Sam and Cierra are our primary passers, and the three of them combined for 30 digs in this match.

“Haley Lockley, our right side hitter, keeps the ball in play. Charlai and L’Tiah Davis – both middles – work really hard. Do I have a standout player? No. I have a team.”

The Wildcats came into the tournament on a bit of a roll, having defeated Sierra Vista and Arbor View earlier in the week. However, Las Vegas came out flat in the first match of the tournament and lost to host Boulder City, 25-20, 25-21.

The opening-round loss helped the Wildcats regain their focus as they defeated Valley and Mojave in pool play and opened bracket play with a a win over Lincoln County.

In the semifinal round, Arbor View pushed Las Vegas to a decisive set before the Wildcats won, 25-16, 16-25, 15-7.

In the win over Arbor View, Turner had 11 digs and three aces, Francis posted four kills and three blocks, Davis recorded four kills, and Ventling added 11 assists.

“We played great matches against Sierra Vista and Arbor View this week, and I felt like we had made a turn-around,” Thurman said. “However, we came in (Friday) and played flat. Boulder City played really well, and we did not respond.

“We talked about all the momentum we had gained this past week, and (the girls) decided they were not going to give anything less than the best on the court at all time.”

Although Thurman and her players were happy about winning the trophy, they know they still have a long way to go in the  season.

“I believe you take every game one match at a time,” Thurman said. “Yes, we won today, and that is a great feeling, but next week we play Palo Verde, which is exceptional, and Rancho, a good, solid team as well. We take this, take our pictures and great memories with us. But on Monday, it’s back in the gym for practice.”

Las Vegas 2, Lincoln County 0 — The Wildcats were 25-12, 25-22 winners over the Lynx.

Kayla Mathews had four kills, three blocks and five digs, and Chesnee Harding added six assists for Lincoln County, which got three kills apiece from Hannah Hafen and Kaylee Teel.

Lincoln County 2, Pahrump Valley 0 — Kaitlin Cheeney had eight assists, and Harding dealt out six assists to lead the Lynx by the Trojans, 25-20, 25-19 in the Silver Bracket.

Teel had five kills and six digs, and Mathews supplied five kills, three digs and two blocks for Lincoln County.

Arbor View 2, Lincoln County 1 — The Aggies rallied for a 17-25, 25-20, 15-2 win to advance to the Silver Bracket semifinals.

Harding had nine assists and four digs, and Mathews added eight kills for Lincoln County, which got six kills apiece from Teel and Chelsea Lloyd.

Lake Mead 2, Moapa Valley 0 — Rachael Watkins had 10 assists and four digs, and Natalie Jankowski added three kills and three digs to help the Eagles top the Pirates, 25-20, 25-22 in the Bronze Bracket championship.

Jenette Hensley added six digs, and Shannon Regan had four kills for Lake Mead, which got three aces from Alayna Lippert.

Lake Mead 2, Desert Oasis 0 — Taylor Webb had seven kills, four digs and two aces, and Hensley added 13 digs to help the Eagles to a 25-13, 25-21 win over the Diamondbacks in the Bronze Bracket semifinals.

Watkins supplied nine assists and six digs, and Regan had four kills and three aces for Lake Mead.

Lake Mead 2, Cheyenne 0 — Watkins had seven aces, six assists and six digs, and Lippert served six aces as the Eagles topped the Desert Shields, 25-9, 25-11 in the opening round of the Bronze Bracket.

Hensley added nine digs, and Regan had three kills and two digs for Lake Mead.

Saturday’s Scores

Boulder City Invitational
Arbor View d. Pahrump Valley, 25-15, 25-18
Arbor View d. Lincoln County, 17-25, 25-20, 15-2
Basic d. Silverado, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11
Basic d. Rancho, 25-17, 25-18
Boulder City d. Silverado, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12
Desert Oasis d. Mojave, 25-22, 25-22
Lake Mead d. Cheyenne, 25-9, 25-11
Lake Mead d. Desert Oasis, 25-13, 25-21
Las Vegas d. Lincoln County, 25-12, 25-22
Las Vegas d. Arbor View, 25-16, 16-25, 15-7
Lincoln County d. Pahrump Valley, 25-20, 25-19
The Meadows d. Del Sol, 25-21, 25-16
The Meadows d. Valley, 25-20, 25-23
The Meadows d. Mojave, 25-16, 20-25, 15-10
Moapa Valley d. Valley, 25-21, 23-25, 15-8
Moapa Valley d. The Meadows, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12
Moapa Valley d. The Meadows, 26-27, 25-22, 15-11
Mojave d. Cheyenne, 25-20, 25-18
Mojave d. Desert Oasis 25-18, 25-21
Rancho d. Boulder City, 25-18, 25-21
Rancho d. Boulder City, 25-20, 20-25, 15-10
Rancho d. Arbor View, 22-25, 25-23, 15-8
Bronze Championship, Lake Mead d. Moapa Valley, 25-20, 25-22
Silver Championship, Rancho d. Basic, 27-26, 15-25, 15-6
Gold Championship, Las Vegas d. Basic, 25-21, 25-19

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