Whittell to host four-team 2A regional on Friday | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell to host four-team 2A regional on Friday

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

If there is pressure on the Whittell High Warriors to continue the school’s volleyball legacy, then its not on the surface.

“We take it one year at a time, and you can’t think about the past,” said Whittell senior Lauren Andrew on Tuesday, three days before the Warriors attempt to win their seventh straight regional championship. “What a great legacy it is, but we can’t rely on the legacy to pull us through.

“We can’t let pressure get to us. We just have to play and do our best.”

Whittell (20-8) plays host to the four-team Northern 2A Regional Tournament on Friday in Zephyr Cove. The Warriors meet rival Incline in a 1 p.m. semifinal, and the finals are set for 4 p.m. Both finalists qualify for next week’s state tournament.

It has been a typical season for the six-time defending state champions as they made an unbeaten (10-0) run through the Northern 2A League and accumulated losses to much larger schools in tournament play and nonleague matches.

“We’re peaking at the right moment, and the kids are all fired up,” said Whittell coach Tony Fathergill. “We’ve had a chance to go pretty hard in practice. There still is room to grow, even though the season is coming to a pretty quick ending. We can’t have any complacency step in.”

Recommended Stories For You

The Highlanders are an interesting first-round matchup for the Warriors. Although the Warriors swept their rivals in their two matches, Incline came close to winning a game both times.

“We’ve scouted them pretty heavily. We know what they are bringing,” Fathergill said.

Andrew welcomes the chance to play their Lake Tahoe rivals to open the postseason.

“I’m totally fired up to play them. I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Andrew said. “They are a good team, and I’d much rather play a good rival and good competition so we can get better.”

Fathergill will be counting on Andrew as well as her classmates Concha-Foley, Jacquelyn Baines, Austyn Herrera and Kristin Pfotenhauer to lead the Warriors through the postseason pressures and challenges. A big boost to the team has been the development of sophomores Darby Reeder, Rachel Laub and Nina Jimenez. “The sophomore crew has definitely stepped up,” Fathergill said.

Andrew said that competitive balance has shown in practice sessions.

“We’ve had some good, intense practices and it’s helping us succeed,” Andrew said. “The sophomores, juniors and seniors are all contributing. We’re getting to our game peak, and I don’t think we’ll stop.”

Whittell last lost the regional championship in 2002 when the Warriors finished runner-up to host Hawthorne. Fathergill has been out in the community this week, prodding locals to attend the one-day tournament. He wants the community to feel part of one of the more unique dynasties in Nevada prep sports history.

“I hope the community realizes this is a great opportunity to see some superb volleyball,” he said. “It’s a honor to be able to host the Northern Nevada championships.”

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. Senior citizens 62 and older will be admitted for free, as will children 8 and under.

Northern 2A regional

volleyball tournament glance

Friday’s Matches

At Whittell High School

Whittell vs. Incline, 1 p.m.

Battle Mountain vs. Lovelock, 2:30 p.m.

Championship, 4 p.m.