Like several Pahrump Valley High School coaches, Jill Harris is always looking ahead.
After all, her girls volleyball team is a fixture in the postseason, qualifying for the playoffs for the past six years and going undefeated in the Class 3A Sunset League in each of the past two.
But the Trojans don’t get any further. Their last trip to the state tournament came in 2007, before today’s freshmen were in kindergarten.
Harris wants to change that, and the regular season gives her chances to get her team ready for a deeper tournament run.
“The only way we’re going to make sure that we keep a strong team with some depth on the bench when we need it is by playing them all,” Harris said after the Trojans defeated Del Sol 3-1 on Thursday, as she substituted freely in the middle sets after Pahrump Valley dominated the first.
“You get used to who you’re playing next to,” she explained. “They know what to expect from you, you know what to expect from them. When you put in subs, sometimes it does get a little chaotic, but you’ve got to be prepared for everything, so everybody’s got to be able to go in.”
Even with shuttling players on and off the court, the Trojans won the second set 25-17 and fought to the end of the third before falling 25-23. They cruised in the others, winning the first 25-10 and fourth 25-8 against the overmatched Dragons.
“Our first game was real crisp, and our fourth game was pretty much on point,” Harris said.
Crisp might even be an understatement. With senior Jackie Stobbe serving, the Trojans scored the first five points of the opening set. The Dragons didn’t return a serve in play until the fifth point, when a Nicky Velazquez kill off the fingers of a diving Del Sol defender made it 5-0.
The Trojans barely broke a sweat, rolling to leads of 11-2 and 21-6 before closing out the set 25-9.
The second set was a little tighter, but the Trojans built a big enough lead to withstand six consecutive points by the Dragons before finishing off a 25-17 win.
Neither team was able to gain much momentum in the third. Pahrump Valley did not take its first lead until it was 11-10, and the set was tied at 13-13, 14-14, 15-15, 19-19, 20-20 and 22-22 before Del Sol scored the final three points to pull within 2-1.
“We weren’t running our usual lineup,” Harris said. “There were a lot of subs, people who don’t normally play in the spots they were playing.”
Order was restored midway through the fourth, as the Trojans pulled away from what was a 9-6 contest by scoring 16 of the last 18 points to clinch the victory.
Stobbe finished with eight aces and seven assists, while Kate Daffer totaled eight kills and Velazquez finished with six.
Harris didn’t take long to savor the victory.
“We’ve got a tougher game (Friday) night,” she said. “We play Mojave.”
And the Rattlers did prove to be a tougher foe than the Dragons, but, after Mojave roared to a 25-10 win to force a deciding fifth set, the Trojans outlasted their hosts for a 3-2 win.
Stobbe finished with 19 assists, while Daffer totaled 12 kills, Elaina Dattillio posted 10 and Velazquez added seven in the 19-25, 25-21, 25-23, 10-25, 15-12 victory. The Trojans served well, recording 11 aces, six by Stobbe, and only three errors in 92 attempts.
Pahrump Valley made it 4-0 in the Sunset on Monday with a 3-0 sweep of Somerset-Losee. Stobbe finished with 13 assists, Dattillio posted five kills and Velazquez chipped in with four kills.
Cait Chmiel recorded seven aces during the Trojans’ 25-21, 25-10, 25-7 victory. The Lions fell to 1-2 in the Sunset and 4-6 overall.
“We’ve still got a little work to do,” Harris said. “We need to get a little stronger with our back row play.”
But there’s still a long way to go, and Harris likes where her team is at this point of the season.
“Our hitters are getting a little more confident,” she said. “But now is not the time to peak. We need to keep building.”
Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at email@example.com On Twitter:@PVTimesSports
Trojan sports recap
Football: Pahrump Valley (1-3) had a week off before the start of league play, as the Trojans will travel to Rancho High School in Las Vegas to take on Class 3A Sunset League newcomer Democracy Prep at 7 p.m. Friday. The former Andre Agassi College Prep Academy is 1-4 after finishing 4-5 a year ago, 4-3 in the Class 2A Southern League.
Beatty took advantage of a hastily scheduled game against Mountain View Christian, a Las Vegas school playing an independent schedule after back-to-back winless seasons in the Class 2A Southern League, with a convincing 30-0 win on Thursday night in Beatty. The Hornets take a big step up in competition Friday night with a trip to Alamo to battle longtime Class 1A powerhouse Pahranagat Valley at 7 p.m.
Boys Soccer: The Trojans played the Class 4A Skyhawks to a 3-3 draw on Monday as Jose Chavez posted a goal and two assists. Alvaro Garcia and Christopher Vega each had one goal for the Trojans (5-3-1). Silverado is 2-6-1.
On Thursday, the Trojans won their fifth consecutive game in easy fashion, routing winless Adelson 9-1 in a Class 3A Sunset League match. It was a group effort for Pahrump Valley, as 10 players recorded at least one point, with Fernando Martinez-Fontana netting two goals, Jose Chavez contributing two assists and Christian Gonzalez, Alvaro Garcia and Abraham Alvarez each posting one goal and one assist.
Girls Soccer: Despite coming in with a 3-3-2 record, Class 4A Green Valley was ranked seventh in Southern Nevada by NevadaPreps.com, and the Trojans found out why. Jazlyn Camacho had three goals and two assists Monday as the host Gators rolled to a 6-0 win over the Trojans, snapping the visitors’ five-game winning streak.
Pahrump Valley returns to Class 3A Sunset League play Thursday at home against Western.
Girls Golf: Although Carolyn Lemon of Western was the medalist with a 4-over 76, the Trojans swept the next four spots Monday in a Sunset League match at Las Vegas Municipal.
Breanne Nygaard shot 81 to place second, followed by Makalea Petrie (94), Jessica Pearson (101) and Anastassia Furman (106).
Pahrump Valley’s 382 was the only team score of the match.
Boys Cross Country: Junior Grant Odegard ran Discovery Park’s 5K course in 18 minutes, 33 seconds, to lead four Pahrump Valley runners in the top 10 as the Trojans won the Pahrump Valley Weekday meet Thursday.
Senior Jacob Cipollini (seventh, 18:52), junior Michael Sonerholm (eighth, 18:54) and freshman Seth Sonerholm (ninth, 19:14) also were in the top 10 for Pahrump Valley, which registered 38 team points to outdistance second-place Somerset Losee’s 48. Valley (77), Mojave (79), Del Sol (135) and Western (145) rounded out the field.
Junior Brandon Ruud finished 14th in 19:54 for the Trojans. Valley junior Christian Franklin took first in 17:53 with teammate Aidan White right behind in 17:58. Beatty’s Jose Granados finished third in 18:02.
Girls Cross Country: Pahrump Valley’s Diamond Sonerholm finished in 21 minutes, 34 seconds to take first place in the Pahrump Valley Weekday meet Thursday at Discovery Park.
Sonerholm won with relative ease; junior Maranda McGuigan of Somerset Losee placed second, 34 seconds behind the Pahrump Valley junior.
Senior Katherine Goodman took fifth in 23:58 for the Trojans, with sophomore Patricia Roundy in eighth at 25:41. Also among the top 20 runners for Pahrump Valley were juniors Nrsringa Breathwaite (12th, 26:16) and Terrena Martin (13th, 26:18) and senior Ariana Solorio (17th, 29:23).