Paige Clark, Thunder Ridge sr. setter/right side
THE PLAYER: A Montana commit, Clark developed into one of the best all-around players in Eastern Idaho. In her final high school season, Clark registered 431 kills on a .300 hitting percentage, 380 assists, 61 aces, 225 digs and 77 blocks. Her 6-foot-1 frame helped her represent an imposing block, and her volleyball savvy helped her push Thunder Ridge to its second straight appearance at the 5A state tournament.
WHAT COACHES SAID: “I think she’s kind of known for her setting, but she can terminate a ball also. That was probably what hurt us the most when we played against them.” — Madison coach Meranda Maestas
Katie Miller, Sugar-Salem sr. outside hitter
THE PLAYER: If you want to understand how Sugar-Salem won every set in 3A competition and swept its way to a state championship this season, meet Katie Miller. Just a junior, Miller tallied nearly three aces per match and represented the head of the Diggers’ attack, recording a 47% kill percentage.
WHAT COACHES SAID: “She’s, hands down, one of the best high school volleyball players I’ve coached… It was so fun to watch her play confident, and push the limits of what we thought she could do and what she thought she could do. She’s one of those players that doesn’t cap out. She always thinks she can do better.” — Sugar-Salem coach Cami Dodson
Mariah Jardine, Bonneville sr. opposite hitter
THE PLAYER: Jardine’s role this season could hardly have been different from that of last season. In 2019, Jardine and five decorated seniors secured the 4A state championship. In 2020, she was the team’s only senior, tasked with guiding a roster that included five underclassmen. Jardine totaled 486 kills, 62 aces, 61 blocks and 252 digs, helping the Bees take third place at state.
WHAT COACHES SAID: “I remember one time we played them. It was a tighter set. I remember looking across the court and watching her turn to her teammates and say, ‘OK, calm down. Go back to your basics, and let’s kick this in gear.’ I was so impressed with that comment — that she could go from playing on the team she played for in the past, and stepping very easily and obviously filling that leadership within a season.” — Hillcrest coach Amanda Wade
Mardee Fillmore, Sugar-Salem, sr. middle blocker
THE PLAYER: Miller may have spearheaded Sugar-Salem’s offense, but Fillmore anchored its defense. Not only did she finish the state championship season with a 43% kill ratio, but she averaged 6.2 blocks per set, turning opponents’ attacks to dust. The Diggers may not have repeated as 3A state champions without first-team all-state pick Fillmore’s combination of timely offense and staunch defense.
WHAT COACHES SAID: “She’s been an asset for our team for three years… She is such a dynamic force on the front line.” — Sugar-Salem coach Cami Dodson
Kinley Kerbs, Madison soph. setter
THE PLAYER: Kerbs and Madison were dealt a deeply unfortunate hand early in the season, when senior Charity Wilson and junior Maddi Wilcox went down with season-ending injuries. Still, Kerbs logged 1,083 assists to pair with 61 aces, 77 kills and 296 digs, making her an effective setter even in the absence of her best hitters. It doesn’t hurt that the Bobcats ended the season with a win, taking down Eagle in the 5A state consolation match.
WHAT COACHES SAID: “If you ask any coach that knows what they’re talking about, they want a setter that has good location with the ball when they’re setting you, and they want a setter that makes good decisions, and she does both of those things really, really well. I really like Kinley.” — Idaho Falls coach Kaitlyn Zarpentine
Aspen Anderson, Bonneville fr. libero
THE PLAYER: One of The Post Register’s first freshmen selected to the all-area volleyball first team, Anderson posted 523 digs and 47 aces, helping Bonneville pile up a 34-11 record and third-place finish at the 4A state tournament.
WHAT COACHES SAID: “Hard to rattle. Just a solid, chill kid in the back row, which is what you want out of a libero. You don’t want a hot-head, emotional kid back there… Her serve-receive is solid. A quieter kid, but I can see her growing into that position more.” — Hillcrest coach Amanda Wade
Kiley Mecham, Firth senior OH: Mecham was a staple for Firth all season long, totaling 292 kills this season, including a season-best 24 in the Cougars’ loss to West Jefferson in the 2A District 6 tournament title game.
Kaylie Kofe, Bonneville freshman S: Bonneville may have been young this season, but Kofe played beyond her freshman inexperience, carding 1,089 assists and 268 digs to match.
Makiya Bond, Thunder Ridge senior S/RS: An irreplaceable part of a Thunder Ridge team that advanced to the 5A state tournament (albeit only to go 0-2) for the second straight year, Bond finished with 576 assists, 233 digs and 90 kills.
Kendel Hone, Thunder Ridge L/OH: Coaches raved about the volleyball smarts of Hone, Thunder Ridge’s libero/outside hitter combo player who completed the season with 318 digs, 275 kills and 70 aces.
Mariya Hoffner, North Fremont S/OH: One of the best, most athletic setters in the area, Hoffner impressed nearly every coach she played against, helping North Fremont stay afloat in what turned into a challenging season.
Bethany Hunt, Madison jr. MB: Hunt filled in beautifully for injured middle blocker Maddi Wilcox, representing a big reason why the Bobcats persevered and ended the season with a victory over Eagle in the 5A consolation match.
Cassidy Bowden, Rigby sr. L; Lauren Davenport, Thunder Ridge sr. MB; Elliott Wehrle, Blackfoot jr. MB; Kimberly Pannell, Sugar-Salem jr. OH; Scotlynd Barr, Sugar-Salem jr. L; Hailey Hararis, Sugar-Salem jr. S; Natalyah Nead, Sugar-Salem jr. MB; Alexis Leckington, Shelley jr. OH; Taryn Chapman, Skyline sr. OH; Lindsey Dalling, West Jefferson sr. L; Cambree Hall, West Jefferson jr. MB; Sarina Rios, Watersprings sr. MH; Jessica Merkle, Watersprings sr. S; Trinity Seefried, Mackay jr. OH