They didn’t win a match last season, in fact, they had a difficult time making it past the three-game minimum in the Northside Conference’s best-of-five format for league matches.
But the Community School is coached by one of the best volleyball players the Wood River Valley has ever produced—third-year head coach Kristyn Rutland—and she’s eager to improve upon last year’s 0-18 match record.
The Cutthroats open their 16-match season Thursday, Aug. 23 on their homecourt against the Murtaugh Red Devils, and then entertain Lighthouse Christian Academy from Twin Falls Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the Fish Tank in Sun Valley.
Match times are 6 p.m.
Murtaugh and the Community School were the No. 7 and No. 8 teams in the eight-school Northside last fall, so Thursday’s match should be close. Lighthouse placed third behind Dietrich in the 2011 league tourney won by eventual three-time State 1A Division 2 champ Camas County of Fairfield.
Former College of Idaho volleyball star Rutland said about the 2012 Cutthroats, “We’re really working hard to build this program back up and get the girls into a more competitive place in our conference.
“Since we have more players than last year, we’re hoping to have more competitive practices and really get the athletes caught up with the rest of the conference.
“We do have a couple of players who have never played before, so we definitely have our hands full, but we’re confident that we can improve our standing in the conference over last year.”
The five juniors are Jolie Blair, Isabel Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Devon Sherrerd and Allison Fluetsch. The three sophomores are Emily Ehret, Lauren Sunday and Alyssa Diamond. Two freshmen are Darby David and Hope Perkins.
Rutland and her new assistant coach Lauren Bourgeau have strong links to the College of Idaho volleyball program based in Caldwell.
A four-year Coyote starter and second-team All-American in 2002, Rutland set kills records in Caldwell and was Cascade Conference “Player of the Year” 10 years ago. She helped Wood River High School teams to a 127-29 record and four district titles from 1995-98.
Bourgeau, a 6-1 outside hitter, was her team’s kills and digs leader when the Capital High Eagles of Boise captured fourth place in the State 5A volleyball tournament in 2006. She went on to play for coach Liz Mendiola’s College of Idaho Coyotes, who are perennial Cascade Conference champs.
Rutland said, “Lauren will be a great asset for us this year as she will bring a ton of experience of the game to help get this athletes up to par.”
The Cutthroat coach added, “We have a promising program in the middle school, with new coach Cara Frost, where a lot of athletes have been playing club ball in the spring.
“So at the varsity level, we want to build up our program so that the youth can step into a solid program and use the extra experience they are gaining in club to expand and strengthen this program.”