The road to the state tournament is never easy in any sport and Saturdays varsity volleyball matchup between Incline and White Pine made that statement crystal clear as the host Wildcats defeated the Highlanders in 4 sets.
Playing with something to prove, White Pine, 2 games back of Incline going into Saturdays game, came out of the gate with great serves, passing and attacking.
“They showed our very good volleyball team that they think about us a lot out here,” Incline coach Tim Kelly said. “They treated this like it was a state title match because they know that we are in the way to get to Vegas in 4 weeks. The crazy thing is I think they are a very good volleyball team and I still 100%, without a doubt know, that we can beat them. They played extremely well today and we are excited to see them again.”
It had to be hard for even the very confident coach to believe his statement after watching sets 1 and 3 as White Pine just handled Incline 25-13 and 25-10. The Highlanders seemed to have a tough time in serve recieve as the Wildcats fired tough serves all over the place.
Sets 2 and 4 though were a different matter completely as Incline played the volleyball that all Highlander fans have become accustomed to see. Incline pulled out a tough set #2 behind phenomenal serving and more consistent passing.
Set #4 was a beautiful match where both teams played what seemed to be their best volleyball. The back and forth game saw Incline go up 26-25 on a Cronk ace before White Pine rallied for 3 straight points to win the set and the match 28-26.
“Losing sucks and I’m never going to be a big moral victory guy, I’m just not wired that way,” Kelly said. “But, I have to say that we had some beautiful moments today, White Pine just played extremely well and truly outplayed us more often. Now, I’m also going to say that we are going to work extremely hard on passing the ball the way we are capable of passing. We gave them a lot today and knowing these young ladies, we won’t do that again. This group is very competitive and I know this is going to fuel them to make adjustments and get better.”
WIth four games to play, the loss gives Yerington a 2 game lead on Incline and shrinks Inclines 2nd place lead to 1 game over White Pine. Incline hosts Silver Stage Friday night for Senior night and homecoming before traveling to Yerington on Saturday. Friday nights home match begins at 5pm. The JV team plays right before them at 4pm.
AA Northern NV League Ladder:
Yerington: 11 – 0
Incline: 8 – 2
White Pine: 8 – 3
Pershing County: 6 – 4
North Tahoe: 4 – 6
Silver Stage: 2 – 9
West Wendover: 1 – 9
Battle Mountain: 1 – 9