Pershing County's Presley Burrows serves during Thursday's match with Battle Mountain.
Pershing County's Presley Burrows serves during Thursday's match with Battle Mountain.
In volleyball, as in life, it is always a mistake to underestimate your opponent. On Friday, Oct. 25, Pershing’s volleyball team traveled to Battle Mountain (3-9). The Longhorns stand eighth in the 2A Northern League but teamed up to beat the Mustangs (20-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-17, 13-17).

“We showed up to play in the third set and lost in the fifth,” said Coach Monica Halverson. “We came into this game overly confident and didn’t really play until Battle was two sets up. Losing to the Longhorns might have knocked us right out of the playoffs.”

On Oct. 18, Pershing sank North Tahoe’s Lakers with a final score of 3-1. This gave the Mustangs some wiggle room as far as the playoffs.  If they beat Battle Mountain and West Wendover they could still get a good seed, the coach reminded the team.

“Now our fate is in the hands of the other teams and the NIAA tie-breaker regulations,” she said.

On Friday, the Longhorns took an early two-game lead, taking full advantage of Pershing’s mistakes and lack of energy.

Halverson called a time-out in the second set. She challenged the girls to play for the win.

“Each point becomes crucial when you are facing a shutout,” she said. The girls responded with strategic serves that netted wins in the third and fourth sets. The rivals entered the fifth set with the score tied.

“Battle Mountain outplayed us,” said the coach. “They fought hard while we unraveled. As a coach, this was frustrating because we just took two games away, and now we were trailing again. Battle’s final points proved that a win was not in our future.”

Presley Burrows slammed in seven kills, four ace serves and five digs. Daralyn Moura had five digs. Alyssa Montes added an ace, a kill and two digs. Josie Crim punched in 12 assists and a dig. Makenna Houston contributed an ace serve, three kills and five digs. 

But, for the Mustangs, it was too little too late.

“It’s hard to accept the fact that I have a talented team, but we may not get to the playoffs,” said Halverson. “But this isn’t my first rodeo, so I’ll push forward and make this week awesome.”

To the delight of the home crowd, the Mustangs will close their last week of league play by hosting three games. They greet Coral Academy on on Wednesday, Oct. 30. JV lights the home fires at 4 p.m. Varsity follows at 5 p.m.

White Pine rolls into Mustang territory on Friday, Nov. 1. The games take place at 4 and 5 p.m.  On Saturday, Nov. 2, Pershing celebrates Senior Night with a match-up against West Wendover at 10 and 11 a.m.

Pershing’s seniors include Daralyn Moura, Kaelyn Castro, Alyssa Montes and Makenna Houston. The coaches and players hope for a big turnout to bid the foursome farewell.

Pershing JV also fell to the Battle Mountain Longhorns (16-25, 25-22, 11-15). According to JV Coach Nancy Meissner, Pershing struggled with its serve receive.

The top servers were Aimee Carpenter and Senicka Happy. Carpenter had three aces. Happy added two. Cheyeanne Diaz led the attack with two kills.

Senicka Happy, Kaylen Halverson and Kaydance Happy punched in one kill each. Halverson also had four setting assists.  Carpenter and Hannah Stairwalt were the top passers with backup from Andrea Canchola, Diaz and Hannah Montes.