It was a happy and productive “Senior Night” for the Wood River High School varsity volleyball team Tuesday.
Coach Kristyn Rutland’s Wolverines (21-12, 11-2 Great Basin Conference) entered the match fresh off its 25-23, 25-19, 25-27, 25-23 road victory over perennial conference power Twin Falls last Thursday.
It was Wood River’s first volleyball win over Twin Falls in 12 years dating back to 2007.
On Tuesday, the Wolverines secured the No. 2 seed in the Great Basin and a host role for Saturday’s GBC tournament matches with a 25-16, 25-17, 23-25, 25-17 victory over a good Pocatello squad, in Hailey.
The outcome put Wood River in the host role of Saturday’s GBC matches that begin at 10 a.m. with No. 3 Burley (10-3 league) playing No. 6 Twin Falls (8-5).
That match will be followed at 11:30 a.m. Saturday by Wood River meeting either No. 7 Minico, No. 8 Mountain Home, No. 9 Jerome or No. 10 Canyon Ridge, depending on the results of Thursday’s play-in knockout matches.
A loser-out match at 1 p.m. Saturday will be followed around 2:30 p.m. by the tournament semi-final match that will determine one of two Great Basin entries to the State 4A tournament Nov. 1-2 at Post Falls High School.
The Wolverines last qualified for state in 2012. Championship match of the GBC tourney is Thursday, Oct. 24.
Wood River, with a strong match of serving, was in command for most of Tuesday’s contest—and nearly pulled off a sweep in the third game after trailing 21-14. But Pocatello prevailed 25-23.
Senior Lauren Thomsen (3 blocks) powered Wood River to the 25-17 triumph by pounding 7 of her 11 kills in the fourth and final game.
As she’s done all season, senior Emily Vandenberg was Wood River’s go-to star with 18 kills and 22 serving winners including an ace. By game, Vandenberg had 5-4-4-5 kills to provide essential consistency.
Other contributors for Hailey included seniors Sariah Nilsen (10 kills, 1 block, 7 serving winners, 3 aces), Josie Conely (12 digs, 3 serving winners), Cambria Morris (7 serving winners, 2 aces) and Anabelle Rust (12 assists).
Sophomore Willa Laski (2 kills, 2 blocks, 11 serving winners with 4 aces) was effective at the serving stripe, and freshman setter Samantha Chambers (1 kill, 2 blocks, 6 serving winners, 2 aces, 19 assists) was an all-around star.
Pocatello senior setter Madison Wilkes (3 kills, 2 blocks, 7 serving winners) and senior libero Aailyah Murdoch sparked the Indian defense that did well digging the hammers of Vandenberg and keeping the balls in play.
Other Pocatello stars were senior Hailey Roubidoux (11 kills, 1 block), junior Ellie Johnson (6 kills), senior Natalie Beck (10 serving winners, 2 aces), senior Jane Muir (2 kills, 3 blocks, 6 serving winners) and senior Megan Rowe (3 kills, 1 block).
Carey downs Dietrich on “Senior Night”
Carey’s varsity volleyball team (17-13, 6-3 league) ended its regular season Tuesday with a 25-11, 25-13, 25-16 “Senior Night” home triumph over the Dietrich Blue Devils.
Panther seniors enjoyed a particularly good night, led by Felicity Black (7 kills in 16 attacks, 11 digs). Junior setter Kylie Wood (25 assists, 6 digs, 2 kills, 4 blocks, 2 aces on 18 serves) sparked the victory.
Other contributors included senior Noelia Cruz (5 kills on 9 attacks, 4 digs), senior Bailie Morey (5 kills on 13 attacks, 3 blocks, 11 digs), junior Shaylee Farnworth (5 kills on 9 attacks, 1 block, 8 digs) and senior Kourtney Black (3 kills, 1 ace).
Carey is the defending champion of the 4th District 1A Division 2 Sawtooth Conference volleyball tourney that opens Saturday, Oct. 19 at Shoshone High School.
No. 4-seeded Panthers open tourney play Saturday about 4:30 p.m. against No. 5 Hansen in a rematch of last year’s Sawtooth title match won by Carey in five games for its first league title since 1999.
The winner of Carey-Hansen will likely play No. 1 Lighthouse Christian Academy Monday about 7 p.m.
No. 10-seeded Sun Valley Community School (2-9, 0-9 league) plays No. 7 Hagerman Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in a play-in match. Also Saturday, another play-in at 12 noon is No. 8 Richfield vs. No. 9 Dietrich.
Other tournament matches Saturday are No. 3 Murtaugh vs. No. 6 Camas County of Fairfield about 6:15 p.m., and No. 2 Castleford vs. the winner of Hagerman/SVCS at 8 p.m.