Dominating its Homecoming Week match with defense and desire, the Wood River High School varsity volleyball team whipped the visiting Minico Spartans 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 Thursday during a Great Basin Conference match in Hailey.
Excellent serving and alert defense enabled the Wolverines (9-20, 3-5 league) to “protect their home floor,” in the words of coach Tim Richards, and win for only the second time in four matches this fall in Hailey.
Richards said, “We had the energy to win in front of a supportive Homecoming crowd.”
Wood River also had the smarts to figure out the right ways to score against the imposing Minico block led by tall Spartan seniors Chloe Bradford (5 kills, 3 blocks), Hannah Bailey (10 kills, 4 blocks) and Kailee May (9 kills, 2 blocks).
Senior Mary Petzke led the way at the net.
Petzke hit an outstanding 50 percent with 12 of Wood River’s efficient total of 36 kills. Petzke (6 service winners) and junior Haley Cutler (6 kills, 9 service winners, 2 aces) each had three kills in Wood River’s 25-18 victory in the first game.
In that game, Wood River built a 6-0 and 17-8 leads behind the serving of Brittney Bradley (5 kills, 5 service winners), Cutler and Petzke, and a tight defense led by junior Ashley Hicks, Cutler and junior libero Ciceley Peavey (50 digs in 3 games).
The second game was much closer as Minico’s net dominance came alive. Yet the Wolverines rallied from 19-16 down into a 22-19 lead on the clutch serves of Hicks (4 kills, 6 service winners). Kills by freshman Blair Radford (6 kills) and junior Emma Poe kept Minico at arm’s length in the pivotal 25-22 triumph.
Radford’s string of eight straight service winners made Wood River’s chore easier building a 16-4 lead in the third game. Petzke closed out her four-kill game with three service winners including an ace to wrap up the 25-18 decider.
“The team showed a great focus and determination,” said Richards.
Wood River, Minico (4-5 league) and Burley (4-5) are battling for the 3-4-5 spots in next week’s GBC tournament—Burley having traveled to No. 2-Canyon Ridge (7-2 league) and Minico having hosted No. 6 Jerome (0-8) Tuesday.
The Wolverines, having played at four-time defending GBC champ Twin Falls (9-0) Tuesday, end their home season Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. against Jerome. Honored will be seniors Petzke, Sadie Dawson and Sydney Thomsen.