Taylor Garland dives for the ball, flanked by KayLee Poffenroth and Morgan Swindlehurst at Tuesday’s JV game against Coral Academy.
Taylor Garland dives for the ball, flanked by KayLee Poffenroth and Morgan Swindlehurst at Tuesday’s JV game against Coral Academy.
The Pershing County volleyball team wrapped up its 2021 season this past week. On Tuesday, April.6, they hosted Coral Academy, beating them 25-13, 25-7 and 25-8. 

On Friday, April 9, Pershing stayed home to play Incline for senior night, coming out on top again 25-22, 25-22 and 25-20. The Mustangs won both games in three sets each.

Pershing plays

 ‘Mustang ball’ against Falcons

“One thing I love about playing Coral is that they never give up,” said Monica Halverson. “They keep fighting and celebrate when they make a point or get a hideout.”

Halverson explains that she expects her athletes to play ‘Mustang ball.’ 

“Whoever we compete against, whether they’re really good or struggle, we keep consistent and play our game,” she said. 

The girls put the concept into action on Tuesday against the Falcons.

“Kaydance Happy and Kaylen Halverson were ‘serving machines’ with the rest of the team backing them up and making our offense work,” said Halverson. Besides Kaydance Happy and Halverson,  Senicka Happy, Aledda Sam, Presley Burrows, Cheyeanne Diaz and Andrea Canchola play varsity volleyball.

PCHS topples Incline on senior night

On senior night, Fri., April 9, the team said goodbye to Senicka Happy and Diaz. 

Both grads-to-be played JV for three years before stepping up to varsity as seniors six weeks ago. 

“They’ve improved so much and contributed to our success,” said Halverson. Before the game, family and friends gathered courtside to shower Senicka and Cheyeanne with flowers, gifts and hugs.

Their teammates stood and clapped for them both.

The large groups of well-wishers formed a crowd reminiscent of pre-Covid days with parents, grandparents, siblings, boyfriends and girlfriends in the mix.

“There were a ton more fans, and it was closer to normal than I have experienced all season,” said Halverson.

For unspecified reasons, Incline had to pull up JV players to compete alongside their two varsity athletes. 

They almost canceled but wanted to uphold their commitment to play. Last-minute adjustments got the ball rolling.

“I was just grateful they didn’t cancel, and we could have our senior game for my girls,” said the coach.

But something felt off.

“The energy wasn’t there, and we were playing flat but still getting it done. My girls thought it would be an easy game to win. However, those JV girls made our team work together to score points,” said the coach.

According to Halverson, no single Mustang had a standout game, but they all contributed to the win. 

“The team as a whole kept at it. They adjusted when they made mistakes and relied on their teammates to help them out,” she said.

Presley Burrows had two ace serves, eight digs and nine kills, Cheyeanne Diaz added one ace serve, five digs and seven kills. Aledda Sam had four ace serves, eight digs and seven kills.

Senicka Happy had five digs. 

Kaylen Halverson threw in one ace serve, three digs and 17 setting assists. Andrea Canchola had three digs. Kaydance Happy had one ace serve, five digs and seven kills.

“It was a great way to end the year,” said the coach. “We look forward to starting up our off-season with open gyms, weights, conditioning and camps this summer.”

In the meantime, most of the girls will gravitate toward the next sports season. Look for Diaz on the track and Senicka Happy on the softball field.

Mustang JV closes season

This season’s freshman team, coached by Nancy Meissner, bonded, got their feet wet and had fun. Taylor Garland, Madyson Grenz, Anna Happy, Yasmine McKinney, Kaitlyn Moore, KayLee Poffenroth and Morgan Swindlehurst grew by leaps and bounds according to their coach. 

This week, the JV girls won two of three sets against Coral Academy (26-24, 17-25, 15-5). Their momentum ran out against Incline. The JV Mustangs lost 25-8, 26-24) 

The second Incline set showed what the Mustangs can do. They fought their way out of the doldrums and came tantalizingly close to upsetting their opponents.