SMALL SCHOOLS: Panthers surprise coach, cruise past Coleville to win 1A title

Pahranagat Valley girls volleyball coach Ginger Whipple figured Coleville would give her team some trouble in the Class 1A state championship match Saturday morning at Bishop Manogue.
What the Panthers gave her instead was domination.
Pahranagat Valley had little trouble getting past the Wolves, storming to a 25-20, 25-14, 26-16 sweep that wasn’t seriously threatened in the final two sets.
“(I didn’t expect) quite the total domination we had,” Whipple said. “I expected a little bit more out of them, because yesterday we saw them totally handle Tonopah with their defense.”
The Panthers (24-7) shut down Coleville’s attack with effective play on the back row.
“The key point for us was our digging a lot of balls,” Whipple said. “That frustrated them and took away their tips. They didn’t have a short game.”
Coleville had two hitting errors near the end of the first set, allowing the Panthers to pull away from a 19-18 lead.
Pahranagat Valley had runs of 6-0 and 8-0 in the second set and ended the match with five-straight points in the third set.
It was the second straight state title for the Panthers, continuing a long legacy of winning.
“Alamo has a reputation for doing good and succeeding, and we know we’ve got to stick to that and play our best because we have a lot to live up to,” senior Dakota Day said.
Day led the Panthers with 12 kills, and Halie Lewis and Kyla Mortensen each added nine kills. Bailee Hosier keyed the strong effort in the back row with 10 digs, while Lewis and Alyssa Higbee had eight each.
Kimberly Lewis dished out 15 assists for Pahranagat Valley.
Yerington beat Whittell, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 25-17 for its fourth state championship in the five years and first in 2A.
The Lions won three consecutive Class 3A titles from 2006-08 before losing to Truckee in the championship match in 2009.
Makenna Lommori led Yerington with 14 kills, four aces, 20 assists, 12 digs and two blocks. Alex Roberts had 12 kills and two blocks, Brooke Aiazzi added eight kills, and Maddie Hull Taylor supplied 11 digs.
Darby Reeder paced Whittell with 18 kills and 16 digs.
As a group, Truckee’s seniors have won titles together in middle school, high school and on the club circuit.
The Wolverines used that experience to claim their second consecutive 3A state championship with a 25-15, 21-25, 25-20, 28-26 win over Dayton.
Annie Reiswig had 18 kills, and Krysta Murphy added 12 to lead Truckee. Kiersten Knoppel supplied nine kills and three blocks, and Jillian Akers had eight digs.
Madison Foley paced Dayton with 13 kills and nine digs, Jamie Darragh added nine kills and seven blocks, and McKenzie Kielty dished out 30 assists to go along with nine digs and three blocks.

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