Things are clicking at the right time for White Pine’s volleyball team. After starting the season with high expectations from the team’s coach Kenna Almberg, the Ladycats looked good in September. So far in October, they’re unbeaten.
“I feel that we have a solid team this year no matter who is on the court,” Almberg said. “Against most teams you prepare for their main hitters and I think with us it’s hard to know who to block. We have strong hitters from all positions and a great setter that runs our court well.”
It would be hard for a coach not to feel comfortable sitting atop their league in first place with a record of 13-1 heading into the team’s final two regular season games. But the coach’s confidence in the players has become infectious and has junior Debra Kingston thinking the team could go all the way this year.
“I think we can win state this year,” Kingston said during a Monday practice, saying her and her teammates have been mentally preparing for divisions all season long.
That isn’t to say the Ladycats are overlooking their final few opponents before the postseason. In fact, before heading into their Oct. 23 game against Pahranagat Valley, junior Emily Bischoff said the Panther’s winning record against White Pine over the past few seasons had the team determined to get a win.
“We were sick of them beating us so we felt determined to beat them,” Bischoff said.
The Ladycats got what they wanted, beating Pahranagat Valley in the fourth game of a best of five series with scores of 21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-18.
“In the eight years I have been coaching, we have never beaten Paranagat Valley so this was a great win for us and a good competitive match leading up to our division tournament next weekend,” Almberg said.
The big win meant something extra to Bischoff, who said that up until then she felt that she hadn’t been playing as well as she knew she could. With the rest of the team around her consistently playing well, she wanted to prove to them that she could compete at the same level.
“For a while I was struggling. I feel like that game showed me and my team that I could compete. It really helped my confidence,” Bischoff said.
Junior Ashlyn Huntington didn’t miss a beat after earning last week’s “player of the week” by registering team highs in kills, digs and aces in the game.
The Ladycats then traveled to Mountain View Christian on Saturday, winning both of their best of three games without dropping a match. Almberg gave credit to the Kingston sisters, Debra and Britney, for their presence on the net, scoring on three blocks a piece. The coach’s daughter Mikalyn Almberg led the team in digs in the 25-9, 25-20 and 25-11, 25-11 wins.
The Ladycats only have two more home games before the postseason begins, facing off against West Wendover on Oct. 28 and Agassi Prep on Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.