Palo Verde has taken control of the Mountain League girls volleyball race despite a lethargic effort last week.
The Panthers “looked dead” in a road match against Rancho last Thursday, coach Phil Clarke said, but rallied for a 19-25, 25-22, 14-25, 27-25, 15-8 victory.
“That was good in the way we won that match. We didn’t play well, and we basically stole that match,” Clarke said. “That was definitely a good match. We play in the Durango Fall Classic and some other good tournaments, but you don’t play five-set matches in those. It’s good to get one of those in, whether you win or lose.”
The Panthers (24-3, 9-0 Mountain League) have a two-game lead over Centennial, Rancho and Shadow Ridge with four matches remaining.
Because of a format change last season, all teams qualify for the playoffs. That takes some of the emphasis and reward away from winning the regular-season league title, other than a higher playoff seeding usually meaning an easier playoff road.
“You want your players to take pride in winning a league match and winning the league, but it definitely doesn’t mean what it used to,” Clarke said.
Durango (25-6, 8-0) leads the Desert League race, with Bishop Gorman (24-7, 6-1) and Desert Oasis (15-8, 6-1) tied for second.
Boulder City (32-5, 8-0 Class 3A Sunrise), Mojave (15-4, 9-0 3A Sunset), The Meadows (16-9, 11-0 2A Southern) and Pahranagat Valley (12-13, 3-0 1A Southern) lead their leagues.
Faith Lutheran still No. 3
Faith Lutheran maintained its No. 3 ranking in the USA Today Super 25 girls soccer poll and stayed No. 1 in the Region VI rankings. The Crusaders (15-0-1) had their perfect record blemished in a scoreless tie against Centennial on Tuesday.
Arbor View is No. 8 in the Region VI rankings.
On the boys side, Bishop Gorman (18-0-1) received votes in the national poll and is fourth in Region VIII. Las Vegas (16-1-1) fell out of the top 25 after a 1-0 loss to Eldorado (13-1-4) on Oct. 7. The Wildcats are 12th in the Region VIII poll.
Bishop Gorman (6-1) moved from No. 16 to 14th in the USA Today Super 25 football poll after winning its fifth consecutive game.
Athletes of the week
Jacey Wood, F, Desert Oasis: The junior tied the NIAA record for a Class 4A player with six goals in a game and had seven total in a 2-0 week for the Diamondbacks.
Sergio Aguayo, F, Las Vegas: The senior scored four goals in a 1-1 week for the Wildcats.
Majae Madison, RB, Cheyenne: The junior rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries in a win over Western.
Skyla Fought, OH, Las Vegas: The senior had 34 kills, 27 digs, two aces and four blocks in win over Legacy.
Athletes of the week are based on nominations received from coaches. Nominations are due at 9 a.m. Monday and should include an athlete’s name, school, classification, position and statistics for the week. A poll can be found each Monday at reviewjournal.com/nevadapreps. Voting ends at noon Wednesday.
More preps: Follow at reviewjournal.com/nevadapreps and @NevadaPreps on Twitter.
Contact Jason Orts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2936. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter.