The Eureka High School volleyball team was in a similar position that most Northern Nevada teams were last week.
The Lady Vandals were scheduled to travel to Virginia City on Aug. 31 to open up the season, but were told not to do so on Wednesday evening due to the heavy smoke in the area from the large fire burning in Yosemite. The game was subsequently cancelled.
It wasn’t all bad news for Eureka though. The team was able to squeeze into the White Pine High School volleyball tournament at the last minute, and to get in more games without making the long trip.
“It actually ended up working out quite well for us,” said Lady Vandals assistant coach Karl Watts. “We usually try to play in the White Pine tournament every year anyway, so it wasn’t all bad.”
On the floor, the Lady Vandals played like a veteran team too. They earned three splits on Friday in the two game round robin format with White Pine (7-25, 25-23), Milford (12-25, 26-24) and West Wendover (23-25, 25-22), setting them up for a big day on Saturday.
“The win against White Pine was our biggest highlight of the day,” Watts said. “They have a very good program, so we were happy to come away with a split.”
Saturday went even better for Eureka. The Lady Vandals took out West Wendover in the first two games of the best of three series (25-13,25-22) and knocked off number one seeded Tonopah in consecutive games (25-14, 25-18).
The wins put Eureka in the championship game, where they met White Pine again. The Lady Vandals were competitive with the host team for the second straight day, but wound up losing in two hard-fought games (14-25, 21-25).
“We held in it with a tough White Pine team and competed with them all the way,” Watts said. “The tournament was very beneficial for us. We saw a wide variety of competition, and it gave our girls a lot of experience and playing time.”
Eureka will open up its home schedule on Thursday evening when Round Mountain comes to town at 6 p.m., before hitting the road again when they travel to Lund on Friday.
Watts likes where the team is at heading into this week.
“I think we are looking really good right now,” he said. “These girls have been playing with each other for a long time now, and will be very competitive this year.”