The 2019-2020 team strikes a pose at the Feather River volleyball camp last fall. From left to right- Presley Burrows, Alayna Godinez, Aimee Carpenter, Kaylen Halverson, Senicka Happy, Daralyn Moura, Josie Crim, Alyssa Montes, Aledda Sam and Cheyeanne Diaz.
The 2019-2020 team strikes a pose at the Feather River volleyball camp last fall. From left to right- Presley Burrows, Alayna Godinez, Aimee Carpenter, Kaylen Halverson, Senicka Happy, Daralyn Moura, Josie Crim, Alyssa Montes, Aledda Sam and Cheyeanne Diaz.
It was the last soccer game of the 2019-2020 season. Pershing high school’s Lady Mustangs ended their year by bending Fernley. 

“They left it all on the field,” said assistant coach Eve Matuszyk, about her team of athletes. “It’s going to be hard to find a better group of girls. They played hard until the last whistle of every game regardless of the score. They cared about each other and laughed a lot.”

Last month, in a virtual graduation ceremony, the soccer team said goodbye to Kyle’ Tupa, Ana Paredes, Cassidy Burke (captain) and Haylie Leavitt, the goalkeeper. Managers Gabby Beltran and Jessica Martin also graduated with the Class of 2020.

With a few exceptions, the rest of the 2019-2020 team consisted of freshmen and first-year soccer players. It’s still a young team.

This year’s returning seniors, Connie Kersnowski (captain) and Yasmin Zaldivar face a season littered with unknowns. Anna Jimenez and Kylee Fuller return as juniors.

Coach Matt Fuller and Matuszyk encourage the girls to work out independently.

“We expect them to run and practice their footwork,” says Matuszyk.  

The coaches want the team ready for Double Days in August. 

Double Days boosts conditioning with back- to – back practices, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. 

The team must steel itself against the vagaries of northern Nevada’s fall weather – including heat, wind and blinding sunlight. They’ve even played on cold, muddy fields far from home.

“We haven’t set a start date yet because we don’t know if we’ll get any preseason games,” said Matuszyk. “All our preseason tournaments have been canceled.”

Traditionally, preseason games give the team a sense of what they’ll be up against in the next few months. Kylee Fuller scored the first hat trick of her high school career against Battle Mountain at last season’s Tahoe tournament. 



Other fall sports:

Uncertainty remains the name of the game across the board. 

“We have not had any updates or progress since last week,” said athletic director, football and wrestling coach Mike Books. “We’re still locked out of the weight room and facilities. Some of the kids are doing at home workouts.” 

Brooks has ordered water bottles for all the teams since, under Phase 2 reopening guidelines, they won’t be able to share fountains or hydration stations. He recently concluded a virtual fundraiser for the football team, the Mustang 5K.

Brooks’s returning seniors include Jessy Gonzalez, Colton Wanner, Haydon Burrows, Nikita Pavlov, Logan Oberman, Daniel Reitz, Victor Flores, Jordan Gentry, Efrem Razov and Zeke Jackson.

Caleb Nolf, JC Astle, Chris Fly-Knopf and Sebastien Donaldson walked with the Class of 2020 in the virtual ceremony.

Football and cheerleading go hand in hand. Coach Cece Hanley is unsure about what seniors will return to the squad. She’ll meet with the girls later this month. Jennifer Chandler and Bianca Ayala graduated. 

Volleyball coach Monica Halverson had to cancel the Gold Medal Squared volleyball camp due to COVID-19 restrictions on meeting as a group. 

The trip to Calif. for Feather River’s varsity volleyball camp was also canceled.

She’ll hold tryouts Aug. 10 – 12 in daily doubles from 8-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Attendance is mandatory at both sessions.

Last fall the volleyball team charged into the high school gym to find a new sound system, scoreboard table and equipment. 

They also found Halverson, a new PCHS varsity coach.

Previously, Halverson coached at Dayton High School for six years. She came to PCHS the year before to teach special education and coach JV volleyball. 

 Halverson transitioned from JV to varsity and brought Nancy Meissner out of ten years of retirement from coaching.

Meissner, the school counselor, leads the JV team. Leah Holland (Class of 2013) brings a new face to the court. 

She’ll help Halverson and Meissner with coaching duties.

Now they all wait to see how the 2020-2021 season unfolds.

The players said goodbye to the 2019-2020 grads: Dara Moura, Kaelyn Castro, Alyssa Montes and Makenna Houston. 

Josie Crim, Aimee Carpenter, Cheyeanne Diaz, Hannah Stairwalt and Senicka Happy return as seniors.

Halverson and Meissner also promote home workouts. The team posts photos to a private Facebook page.

 Those who complete 85 percent of the regimen get their names printed on the backs of their volleyball hoodies.

“We are eager to see if we’ll have a fall sports season or not,” said Halverson. “We’ll take all direction from Superintendent Fecht, Principal Jonathan Reynolds and Mike Brooks. I’m hopeful.”