Two longtime rivals, old foes in sports for many years, faced each other in the championship match in girls volleyball for the season opening tournament at White Pine in Ely last weekend.
The White Pine Invitational featured JV and varsity teams from Lincoln County, Tonopah, Battle Mountain, West Wendover, and Eureka. JV scores are not reported here.
Friday’s action featured round robin play. Vandal’s coach Katie Benson said teams played each other just two games instead of three. Eureka only lost to White Pine, going 1-1 with them on Friday.
Being seeded No.2 for bracket play on Saturday, a best two-out-of-three format, was helpful Benson thought. To open the day, the Lady Vandals beat West Wendover 3-0 to advance to the championship against host White Pine. “We played them tough,” Benson said, “losing 2-1.” Scores were 12-25, 25-23, 15-12.
Benson said the team did an excellent job playing defense. “Our Libero, Savanah Sanders, picked up just about everything, along with our outside hitters, Alia Minoletti and Cody Gibbs. Alia had a great weekend on offense. Against White Pine, out of 14 total attack she recorded zero errors and 10 kills. They all did a good job playing together, supporting each other on the court when mistakes were made. Gibbs contributed five kills.”
White Pine and Eureka have a long history of playing each other in volleyball, but looking at records since 2010, the Bobcats have dominated the series, now12-1. The only official Eureka win was in a preseason tournament in 2011 in Ely by scores of 25-21, 25-16. The Vandals made the playoffs that year but lost to Sierra Lutheran in the first round of the regional tournament.
This week, the Vandals varsity played Round Mountain in non-league action in Eureka yesterday, and will be at the Battle Mountain tournament this weekend.