Eureka’s run to the Region II playoffs came to an end last Friday as the Lady Vandals lost 3-0 to three-time defending state champion Pahranagat Valley in the first round of the 8-team regional tournament in Alamo.
Eureka stared strong in each set taking the lead usually into the teens, but couldn’t hold it each time, eventually losing each set.
However, the third set was closer as the girls knew their backs were against the wall to extend their season.
Scores in the match were 14-25, 16- 25 and 19-25.
Coach Katie Benson said her team is, “a young group, only two seniors, and we just didn’t have the mental toughness to keep them down through the entire match. It will be something for us to work on as we move forward in the next few years.”
But for now the season is over and the girls finished the year 11-16 and were the No. 3 seed in the East league behind Wells and Owyhee.
Benson said, “Molly Zimmerman did a great job stepping in for me and passing for me, Kyra Todd did a great job attacking as did Carlie Wells and Josie Hoekenga. We did a good job setting the back to our attackers, just didn’t do a good enough job to capitalized when we needed to.”
The match ended the careers of Eureka’s two seniors, Hoekenga and Jenesis Dominguez. “Josie was our setter and right side blocker,” Benson said. “She had 56 total kill blocks this year. Had a great positive attitude for the team. Jenesis is a middle for us and is an excellent person to have on the court, always positive and encouraging to her teammates.”
The state tournament is this Friday and Saturday at Faith Lutheran in Las Vegas. Pahranagat Valley (19- 14-1) faces Smith Valley (23-7), and Owyhee (18-8) plays Virginia City (22-6) in the Friday matches.
The Muckers beat the Bulldogs 3-2 for the Region I championship.