Bishop Gorman got a good look at most of the girls volleyball teams in the valley last weekend.
The Gaels were among several traditional powers that competed in the Las Vegas Invitational.
“It’s a pretty good litmus test to see where we stand against teams in town,” Gorman coach Gregg Nunley said. “Most of the bigger schools were represented. It’s not a huge predictor of how the season will go, but any time you get on the court and come out with a win, it’s a good day.”
Gorman, the defending Class 4A state champion, ran into another reigning champion in 3A Boulder City in the title match Saturday. The Eagles, who boast two Division I-caliber players in 6-foot-4-inch middle blocker Kate Prior and 6-1 Kamry Bailey, won the first set but lost the final two in a 15-25, 25-8, 15-13 defeat.
All-State performer Tommi Stockham was the tournament MVP. Twenty of her 90 kills were in the championship match, and she hit .517 for the weekend. Setter Carolina Edgeworth and outside hitter Caroline Jefferson also were named to the all-tournament team.
“The biggest factor (for Tommi) is experience, both indoor and outdoor,” Nunley said. “She’s played against some of the best players in the country, and you can’t train that. It’s nice to have somebody like her on the court to lead the team.”
The Gaels (8-0) had to absorb the transfer of Penn State commit Anjelina Starck in the offseason, but Nunley said this year’s team has every chance to be “better than the one we had last year.”
“We’re deeper in every position, all the way around,” Nunley said. “We have a lot of options and a lot of different things we can do, especially with our offense.”
Green Valley kept the Gator Classic championship trophy at home, defeating Rancho 25-18, 25-22 in the final. Jennifer Soha was the MVP for the Gators, who went 6-1 in the tournament.
Faith Lutheran has a young team, so it would have been natural for it to let down after cruising to the Howell Memorial Tournament title with a 4-0 record last weekend.
The Crusaders made sure that didn’t happen. In the process, they picked up what eventually could be looked upon as a landmark victory Tuesday.
Faith Lutheran received goals from Amelia McManis and Chloe Steigerwald, and Jordan Brown recorded 15 saves in a 2-0 win that halted two-time defending state champion Gorman’s 49-match unbeaten streak.
“That’s huge, especially for a young team,” Faith Lutheran coach Bob Chinn said. “We’ve only got four seniors. A lot of times teams rely on age to give them an advantage. We don’t have age, so we’re relying on our chemistry and versatility. This is a huge win for our program to show that a small school like us can compete (with the best in the state).”
The South Tahoe tournament didn’t have a true champion, but Coronado, Gorman and Arbor View each recorded 4-0 records.
Chaparral had quite an impressive run to win the Southern Nevada Kick-off Classic crown.
The Cowboys defeated Green Valley 1-0 in the championship game to cap a four-game run that included victories over Durango (2-1), Palo Verde (3-0) and a 1-1 tie against No. 1 Las Vegas that went Chaparral’s way via forfeit.
The star for the Cowboys was goalkeeper Carlos Morales, the tournament MVP, who was moved into goal this summer after eligibility issues forced their regular keeper out of the lineup.
“His performance was unexpected,” Chaparral coach Eric Rowling said. “Carlos is the kind of kid that puts the team first, the team second and the team third. In the championship game, Green Valley was coming on strong, and he made some huge saves to keep us in the game.”
But the championship match didn’t mean as much to the Cowboys as their victory over Palo Verde.
“They beat us 9-1 on our home field last year,” Rowling said. “Less than a year later, that we were not only able to compete but win games against the likes of Palo Verde, Durango and Las Vegas says a lot.”
Eldorado won its home tournament, named after longtime coach Gerald Pencil, with a 2-1 victory over Tech in the final.
Contact Jason Orts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @SportsWithOrts.