Warriors take home individual honors as well as state title | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Warriors take home individual honors as well as state title

Although it took the whole team to win the Nevada 2A state title, the Whittell High Warriors were loaded with individual stars – and the rest of the league knew it as five players were given all- league honors.

The Warriors featured league Co-Most Valuable Players in seniors Shannon McGlothlin and Carlye Johnson. McGlothlin also took home the zone tournament MVP as well.

“Everything just worked together for us,” Warriors coach Dan McLaughlin said.

The MVPs were not only named to the all-league team, they were also members of the all-zone squads as well.

Joining McGlothlin and Johnson on first-team all-league were junior Ashley Berns and Jessika Purdy.

Purdy, an outside hitter, became a formidable second weapon behind McGlothlin and created matchup problems for many teams throughout the season.

“We knew that Jessika and Shannon were going to be our strengths,” McLaughlin said. “Jessika was one of the best hitters in the league behind Shannon.”

Berns was one of most underrated players in the league, but the Warriors relied on her tough frontline play to set up both the defense and offense.

“Ashley had such a long reach that made her a great offensive and defensive threat,” McLaughlin said. “She always made an impact in games.

“Ashley would have been the go-to player on almost any other team.”

The final senior on the team, Joeleene Brinkley, made honorable mention all-league. Although the back row player’s contribution was hard to see on the stat sheet, her play help set up the defense.

“The strength of both Joeleene and Ashley in the back row was they allowed me to experiment with the rest of the defense,” McLaughlin said.

Johnson was the engine behind the powerful Whittell offensive attack. She was able to find the offensive strengths each game and allowed the powerful outside hitters of McGlothlin and Purdy to exploit the weaknesses of the other teams.

“The best thing to say about Carlye was when the Tonopah coach was trying to figure out our offense and came up and asked me, ‘How do you pick out which player to set to?’ I replied, ‘I don’t, Carlye does,” McLaughlin recalled.

McLaughlin, in charge of such a powerful and balanced squad, was a shoe-in for Coach of the Year honors.

“It obviously makes my job easier with the players I had this year,” McLaughlin said. “But I’m glad to finally win that one.”

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