Some of the biggest arguments between sports fans are due to the controversial calls made by officials of the game. Games are lost, seasons are ended and lots of heartache ensues due to the occasional misunderstood action of officials. The Pahrump Valley High School girls’ volleyball team’s season could arguably be considered one of these controversial games.
On November 7, the Trojans went to Chaparral High School in Las Vegas to battle the Boulder City Eagles to earn a spot in the state tournament. The Trojans lost the game 3 to 1 in their best of 5 match. It was a close and hard-fought game for both sides.
Head coach Jill Harris was unhappy about the loss but still proud of the effort put out by her team.
Harris said, “Our biggest issue was serve and receive. There was no one person that stood out tonight. All of my girls did their job. I wouldn’t have done anything differently tonight. I believe in these girls and this is the best team I could have put on the floor. A couple of them were off tonight and you never know how some are going to handle nerves and pressure.”
Boulder City won the first set 25-16 and Pahrump won the second set 25 – 20. The Trojans had a tendency to fall behind by 6 to 10 points in each set only to battle back and make the game that much more interesting. The third set was won by Boulder City as well forcing the Trojans to win the fourth to keep their state championship hopes alive.
Again, the Trojans had a 6-point deficit in the game only to rally back into the competition in full force. This was more proof that the Trojans struggled with serve/receive throughout the game.
“When we dug ourselves into those holes it was due to serve/receive. We dig ourselves into holes and then we try to hack our way back out. We generally do a good job chipping away at it. But it’s hard when you are down that far and Boulder came to play. They have some really tough girls,” Harris said.
After the Trojans battled back to 22, the lead would change back and forth several times. With the score at 28 even, Boulder City gained the advantage over a hugely debatable lift call. It was arguably a very nice block that should have given the Trojans the advantage once again. Harris, along with fans and athletes were not pleased with this call.
“He called a lift and it wasn’t. I can’t complain about the officiating in general because he let calls go both ways, but you don’t make those kind of calls at the end of a game. The official should not decide the game. It was a great play and there isn’t another referee in the conference that would have called that,” she said.
The Trojans lost the match 28-30.
It was definitely a disappointing way for Harris and her team’s season to end. Especially with the 3 seniors on the team who will not be able to come back and take revenge next year. When asked why she thought the call was made, Harris had an idea.
“I think he was making up for a call he missed. I can’t complain too much about the officiating. All of my girls step in and they do their job generally pretty well. They rattle a little bit and there is a lot of pressure. I won’t take anything away from Boulder. They came to play.”
The Pahrump Valley Trojans ended their season in a loss to the number one seed Boulder City Eagles last Thursday in the semifinals to end their season. The Lady Trojans volleyball team ended up with a 18-17 overall and a 7-3 league record finishing in second place behind the Faith Lutheran Crusaders.
The Trojans will be losing just three seniors, Bryana Soliwoda, Payton Hart and Mikayla Davis, which leaves eight returning players. This is important because the last two years have seen a significant improvement in skill in the Trojans team. The Trojans could very well see the team in the state tourney next year. Fans of the team say this was the best team since 2009-2010.
Harris is proud of her girls this year and what they accomplished. Harris is looking forward to the possibility to come back strong next year with the majority of her team returning as well as strong players from the junior varsity team to fill in the voids.
“We have a little rebuilding to do with losing three seniors, but there are some kids coming up that will fill the positions well. I don’t think we will be relying on just one person. We have more options and this showed at the end of the season. The group that I have coming back is very well seasoned and will be ready to go again next year,” she said.
The Faith Lutheran Crusaders went on to beat the Boulder City Eagles 3-0 and are the regional champions. On Friday at Green Valley High School Faith plays Truckee at 3:45 p.m. and Boulder City plays Dayton at 2 p.m. The state Division 1-A Championship will be on Saturday at noon.