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The Wood River volleyball team defeated the Minico Spartans, 3-0, for its home opener on Tuesday night.

The beginning of the 2021 season couldn’t have been better for the Wood River High School varsity volleyball team.

With four straight victories to start the year, the Lady Wolverines (5-1, 4-0 Great Basin 7 Conference) won 3-0 against Jerome (25-13, 26-24, 25-8), Filer (25-16, 25-22, 15-10), Twin Falls (25-18, 25-20, 25-23) and Mountain Home (25-17, 25-13, 25-13).

Having yet to give up a full set in a regular season game, Wood River repeated its success Tuesday night in its home opener against Minico.

In another 3-0 win against the Spartans (25-20, 25-16, 25-20), the Lady Wolverines now find themselves ranked No. 2 in the state in the 4A classification behind Bonneville (5-1), according to Max Preps.

“We feel really good with where we’re at,” WRHS head coach Kristyn Rutland said. “We’ve worked hard to be in a good spot. We have to keep elevating in each match, that’s our goal.”

Against Minico, junior setter Samantha Chambers had 11 kills and 32 assists. Senior Willa Laski had eight kills and sophomore Kadance Jacobson added another 10 kills for Wood River.

“Throughout our whole season Willa has been solid,” Rutland added. “She’s not a kid who makes any errors, if she does its minimal. She can put the ball in play and keep everyone calm because she’s the standard for us.”

The libero/defensive specialist combination of senior Charlie Loomis and junior Sophie Vandenberg kept the Wood River defense from allowing anything from the Spartans’ offense. Loomis had nine digs while Vandenberg had 11.

Rutland went on to add that her team has been playing excellent defense in the early part of the year with offense being the next focus as WRHS enters the midway point of the season.

“[Tuesday] night was the best offensive game we played all season for three full sets,” Rutland said.

On Sept. 2, Wood River traveled to Mountain Home and put on the hurt. Junior Jette Ward had seven aces and Vandenberg added six more. An all, the team put up 20 aces.

The lone loss Wood River experienced was at the Peg Peterson Volleyball Tournament at the Mountain View Event Center in Pocatello (Sept. 3-4) when WRHS faced Shelley and lost 2-1 (23-25, 25-13, 8-15).

Wood River hosted another home match against Canyon Ridge (5-3, 2-1 GB7) on Thursday night, which happened after press time.

This weekend, Wood River is at the Jerome Invite in Jerome on Saturday, Sept. 11. Rutland believes her team is good enough to be in the top two teams in the 16-team tournament.

Email the writer: sports@mtexpress.com

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