It’s tough to argue there is a better high school volleyball rivalry in eastern Idaho right now than Bonneville and Madison.
Year after year the two teams battle it out in epic match after epic match.
Two weeks ago the Bobcats rolled the Bees in the Rocky Mountain Champions Classic in Utah.
Saturday the two met in the championship match of the 26th annual Bonneville/Hillcrest Volleyball Classic at Bonneville High School.
And just like a year ago the match was a good one, but the result was ultimately the same.
Bonneville defeated Madison 25-17, 25-21 to win the tournament championship for the third consecutive year.
“Everytime we are on the floor with them it makes us a better team,” Bees coach Chantal McMurtrey said. “They push us, we push them. It’s just a good match when we get together.”
The difference in the first game was a 7-0 run by the Bees to turn a 17-16 advantage into a 23-16 lead. Three points later the Bees had the opening set.
“We didn’t play with much fire today, all day,” Bobcats coach Meranda Maestas said. “We have only lost twice all year and both times was to Bonneville.”
Set two went back and forth as neither school led by more three. Down the stretch back-to-back kills by Sadie Lott gave the Bees the boost to close out the match.
The Bees (26-3) went 8-0 during the two-day tournament and have lost just one match to a team in Idaho ... and that was to Madison.
“They were lights out in Utah,” McMurtrey said of Madison. “Today the three-set semifinal with Timberline pushed us up to the next level and that was the difference.”
The semifinal match with Timberline saw the Bees on the verge of dropping the match twice in the final two games.
The Bees lost set two 26-24, before winning set three in a battle 15-13.
“We got beat off the block in the match,” McMurtrey said. “So guess we are doing in practice this week? Blocking drills.”
Lott finished the match with eight kills, three blocks and nine digs. Makayla Sorensen had 11 kills and two digs.
“Sadie was awesome today,” McMurtrey said. “She was all over the floor and gave is momentum when we needed it.”
Madison (22-2) went 7-1 during the tournament.
The Bobcats won their semifinal over Century in straight sets, and had a long break before the championship match.
Charity Wilson led the Bobcats with 10 kills, Baylee Peterson added six kills.
“We get to play them one more time and we are looking forward to it,” Maestas said. “They are the best competition we play all season locally.”
Bonneville plays at Shelley on Tuesday, while Madison hosts Sugar-Salem the same night.