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Muckers take league title over top-ranked Panthers

The Tonopah High Muckers completed their upset over first place Pahranagat Valley in the 1A Central league girls volleyball championship game on Saturday.

The 1A league playoffs took place on Saturday throughout the state of Nevada. Many teams had to play multiple games on their way to winning league titles, including Tonopah High School.

Heading into the playoffs, the Muckers had the #2 seed for the 1A Central league, finishing just behind the Pahranagat Valley Panthers.

The Muckers and the Panthers played each other twice during the regular season and the Panthers came away with wins in both matchups. They swept the first matchup three sets to zero. In the second matchup, the Muckers were able to win a set, but, unfortunately, still came out with a loss, three sets to one.

Saturday, however, was a different story.

After watching PVHS take down Beatty High School in the first round, three sets to zero, the Muckers knew they were going to have to go through a team who had already beaten them twice this year if they wanted to win the league title.

The Muckers’ first round opponent was Round Mountain High School. This was a team that Tonopah had already swept in the regular season by scores of 3-1 and 3-0. Tonopah was able to make quick work of the Knights by coming out with a 3-1 victory, setting up the showdown.

After coming out of the gates and getting a win in the first set, the Muckers dropped the next two sets and were facing elimination. Tonopah was able to climb back into the game by taking set four, tying the game at two sets apiece, and forcing a winner-take-all fifth set. The Muckers were able to win the set in great fashion and claimed the 1A Central league title.

With their appearance in the league title game, both Pahranagat Valley and Tonopah clinched their spots in the 1A State tournament this week. Tonopah will be going in as the No. 1 Central team and Pahranagat Valley will be No. 2.

The Muckers will open up the tournament with a first-round matchup against Virginia City, who finished as the #2 West 1A school. These teams met in the regular season when Tonopah traveled north and, unfortunately, came away with a 3-1 loss. Virginia City lost to Smith Valley in the 1A West league championship.

The game between Tonopah and Virginia City will take place at Hug High School in Reno, and is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com

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