WHS volleyball chasing history
The Whittell High volleyball team has more than another state championship on its mind this week. The Warriors can rewrite the high school record books if they win their fifth consecutive 2A state title on Saturday.
Moapa Valley won five straight 2A state titles from 1991-95, then continued its streak when it moved to the 3A in 1996. The Pirates went on to win an unprecedented 13 titles at the 2A and 3A levels from 1991-2003.
Whittell, though, can win match Moapa Valley’s 2A streak by getting two wins at this week’s Nevada 2A state tournament at Silverado High School in Las Vegas.
“To be 100 percent honest, it doesn’t mean a thing to me,” said WHS coach Dan McLaughlin, who also led the Warriors to the state title in 2000. “I think the streak is more important to other people. I don’t want this year’s team chasing last year’s team, wondering if they measure up. All I want this year’s team to do is measure up against themselves. If they walk out of the gym this weekend knowing they gave their best effort, I am going to be happy.”
Northern 2A region champion Whittell (16-6) faces Lincoln County, the No. 2 seed from the Southern 2A region, in the first state semifinal on Friday at 9 a.m. In the other semifinal, North Tahoe plays Southern 2A region champion Needles, which has yet to lose to a 2A opponent this season.
Whittell beat Lincoln County in last year’s state semifinals, then beat Needles to claim its fourth straight state title and fifth since 2000.
“This team has worked very hard to turn themselves into a good team,” McLaughlin said. “Everybody knows their role and has stepped up when necessary. I feel confident we can win again, but Needles last year was a very good team and they weren’t intimidated by us. None of the southern schools are. I know they are both going to be tough games.”
This week is also the final high school matches for seniors Jordan Reeder and Kendra Koskin. Reeder was moved up to the varsity team as a freshman but didn’t play in the regional and state tournaments.
However, both players have been major contributors since they were sophomores and have a chance to win their third state title this weekend.
“This year’s team is definitely more well-rounded,” Reeder said when comparing the 2006 and 2007 squads. “Everybody has learned their role, whereas before we could rely on our star players. This year, Whittell has had to become more of a team. Because of that, hopefully we will go 2-0 down there and bring back another state championship.”
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