Six local teams reach state volleyball semis

At Coeur d’Alene High School, the Bonneville High School volleyball team began its state title defense with wins over Centennial and Eagle on the first day of the 5A state tournament.

The Bees swept Centennial 25-10, 25-16, 25-15 to begin the day and defeated Eagle 25-19, 25-13, 24-26, 25-16 later in the afternoon.

It was the first time the Bees had faced either team this season. Bonneville coach Chantal McMurtrey said the Bees took advantage of Centennial’s struggles with passing and serve receive and the Eagle match had several good rallies.

“We were really handling Eagle then in the third set, we kinda took our foot off the gas,” she said. “They started chucking balls at their outside hitter and we were not blocking well. We changed some matchups and it made a big difference.”

Makayla Sorensen had 43 kills, eight digs and four aces for the day while fellow sophomore Sadie Lott had 25 kills, four blocks, 31 digs and three aces and senior Kalli Harris had 20 digs and four aces. Sade Williams had 18 kills, 23 digs and two aces, Paige Dixon had 12 kills and five blocks and Alexis McMurtrey had 92 assists, four aces and 10 digs for Bonneville (38-4), which faces District 1-2 champion Lake City at noon in today’s semifinals.

McMurtrey said the Bees watched Lake City’s opening round game against Rocky Mountain, which went to five sets. Rocky Mountain was eliminated later in the day by Timberline, and Lake City pushed Madison to the loser’s bracket with a three-set sweep in the afternoon.

McMurtrey said Lake City’s setter reminds her of 2012 Idaho Falls graduate and former ISU setter Hayley Farrer.

“She kinda floats around the court,” McMurtrey said. “She does a nice job. We’re gonna have to play well, for sure. Hopefully our balanced attack will help. I expect it to be a really good match.”

MADISON 3, TIMBERLINE 1; LAKE CITY 3, MADISON 0; MADISON 3, POST FALLS 2: At Coeur d’Alene High School, the Bobcats preserved their season after a long first day at the state tournament.

After defeating District 3 champion Timberline 25-15, 25-20, 15-25, 25-18 to begin the day, the Bobcats were swept by District 1-2 champion Lake City 25-21, 25-22, 25-17 to put them in an elimination match versus Post Falls. Madison went the distance against the Trojans, defeating them 17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19, 15-13. No other details were available.

Madison (29-12) plays Timberline again this morning in an elimination match.

3A tournament

SUGAR-SALEM 3, FRUITLAND 0; SUGAR-SALEM 3, BONNERS FERRY 0: At Lake City High School, Sugar-Salem began its state title defense with a pair of three-set wins on Friday.

The Diggers defeated Fruitland 25-22, 25-17, 25-15 to begin the day and Bonners Ferry 25-12, 25-15, 25-20 in the afternoon.

“Our girls are working hard and staying focused on consistency and cleaning up errors on our side of the net,” Sugar-Salem coach Cami Dodson said in a text message.

Mariah Dunn finished the day with four aces, 15 kills and 16 digs while Savanah Crane had 12 kills, five aces, eight digs and seven blocks. Kayla Luke added three aces, 37 digs and two assists, Macie Knapp had nine kills, five blocks, two aces and 23 digs and setter Camber Dodson had five kills, 58 assists, six blocks and 17 digs for the Diggers (25-12), who will face District 6 foe South Fremont in today’s semifinals. This will be the seventh meeting between the teams this season. Sugar-Salem has won four times and South Fremont two times, including last week’s 3A District 6 championship match.

SOUTH FREMONT 3, HOMEDALE 0; SOUTH FREMONT 3, KIMBERLY 1: At Lake City High School, South Fremont opened the state tournament with a pair of wins Friday in Coeur d’Alene.

The Cougars swept Homedale in three sets and ended the day with a four-set win over Kimberly. These were the first state volleyball wins for South Fremont since 2010. No other details were available.

South Fremont (16-5) plays District 6 foe and defending state champion Sugar-Salem in today’s semifinals. The teams have met six times previously with Sugar-Salem winning four times and South Fremont two, including last week’s 3A District 6 championshiop.

2A tournament

FIRTH 3, WEST SIDE 0; FIRTH 3, MELBA 0: At Rathdrum, Firth shook off some first-set jitters and cruised into today’s semifinals with wins over West Side and Melba.

The Cougars opened with a 27-25, 25-8, 25-19 win over West Side, then topped Melba won 25-20, 25-22, 25-12.

“That first one, it was kind of, ‘oh, we’re here at state,’” Firth coach Elda Park said. “But they fought through it and came out firing. They really had a lot of fun today.”

Abby Schiess led the Firth attack with 24 kills while adding three blocks, and Hailey Gee added 17 kills and 16 digs and Jordyn Adams chipped in 10 kills.

Libero Ashlee Adams finished with 43 digs and three aces while setter Cammie Gee had 47 assists, 15 digs, two blocks and two kills.

The Cougars (22-5) advanced to the semifinals, where they face Nampa Christian at noon.

NAMPA CHRISTIAN 3, WEST JEFFERSON 0; MALAD 3, WEST JEFFERSON 0: At Rathdrum, back-to-back three-set losses to Nampa Christian and Malad eliminated West Jefferson from the state tournament. The Panthers were making their first state tournament appearance since 2010. No other details were available.

1A Division I tournament

CHALLIS 3, GENESEE 1; HORSESHOE BEND 3, CHALLIS 0; CHALLIS 3, OAKLEY 1: At Lewis-Clark State College, Challis kept its season alive with a win over Oakley in a loser-out match.

The Vikings began the day with a 25-21, 19-25, 25-12, 25-22 win over Genesee. But that was followed by a 18-25, 12-25, 11-25 loss to Horseshoe Bend, sending Challis into the loser’s side of the bracket. But the Vikings fought back to beat Oakley 25-20, 25-27, 25-17, 25-23.

Laura Parkinson had 46 kills and 17 stuffed blocks for the day, Keaton Kikuyama had 54 digs and Katie Hewitt had 78 assists.

“The girls came out and played I thought a super strong match against Genesee,” Challis coach Debbie Sheppeard said. “Horseshoe Bend has a couple really strong hitters. We really didn’t have an answer for that. The girls came back after that and just battled against Oakley.”

Challis (13-9) plays defending state champion Troy this morning in another elimination match.

“They look pretty solid defensively,” Sheppeard said. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes. Kinda similar to how we play.”

1A Division II tournament

BUTTE COUNTY 3, LOGOS 0; BUTTE COUNTY 3, SALMON RIVER 2: At Lewiston High School, Butte County went 2-0 on the first day of state volleyball.

The defending state runner-up Pirates swept District 2 runner-up Logos in three sets before outlasting District 3 champion Salmon River in five sets. No other details were available.

Butte County will play Watersprings at noon today in an all District 6 semifinal match. The two last met in the 1A Division II District 5-6 title match on Oct. 19.

WATERSPRINGS 3, CLARK FORK 0; WATERSPRINGS 3, LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN 1: At Lewiston High School, Watersprings began state volleyball 2-0 to advance to today’s semifinals.

The Warriors, who won the third place trophy last year, swept Clark Fork 25-13, 25-14, 25-12 Friday morning and defeated defending state champion Lighthouse Christian 21-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-19 in the afternoon. According to the Twin Falls Times-News, that was Lighthouse Christian’s first loss of the season.

“That was a big win for us, an improtnat win in the tournament,” Watersprings coach Robyn King said. “Lighthouse has a wonderfully talented setter. They also have two big middles. I knew if we could keep the ball away from their two middle hitters, we’d do well.”

After dropping the first set vs. the Lions, King said Joanna Hayes served 10 consecutive points to begin the second set and swing the momentum in Watersprings’ favor. King said fellow sophomore Abigail Yadon, one of their strongest hitters, had a great defensive game versus Lighthouse Christian as well as Angie Gomez. She added the Warriors got strong play from freshman Jessie Merkle off the bench.

Watersprings (28-8) faces District 6 foe Butte County this morning in the semifinals. Butte County has won every meeting thus far this season versus the Warriors, most recently a four-set win in the 1A Division II District 5-6 title match on Oct. 19.

“We’ve played each other enough there’s no secrets,” King said. “What Butte can do is they can keep the ball alive all the itme. They’re really relying on our team to make a mistake. We just have to be super scrappy. We have to be super defensive against Butte.”

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