The cheers from the players in blue and white jerseys Thursday night in the Idaho Falls High School gym was nearly drowned out by the blue clad spectators.
It signified the end of a marathon match, a 21-25, 25-6, 22-25, 25-16, 15-7 win for the Skyline High School volleyball team over Idaho Falls in the regular season finale.
A search of the Post Register archives couldn’t be completed by print deadline to verify, but the win likely completed Skyline’s first regular season sweep of its District 91 rival since the early 2000s before I.F.’s state title streak from 2003 to 2005.
“I’ve never beaten I.F. before (this season),” said Skyline senior Megan McAlevy. “Since third grade, I’ve never beaten I.F.”
“We hope we can keep this up for our seniors,” added sophomore Sofia Anderson.
Skyline coach Hillary Congdon, who said she anticipated Thursday’s match to be competitive after a five-set win over the Tigers earlier in the season, shared her athletes’ enthusiasm.
“It’s amazing to start a legacy,” Congdon said. “I’ve seen this group do some things that haven’t been done before. I knew they had it.”
Save for the 25-6 second set, almost the entire match was point for point. Laurel Taylor, Hannah Killian and Brenna Clyde were among the athletes who brought the firepower to the Tigers to end sets one and three — sets that had a combined 13 lead changes.
Only one lead change occurred in the fourth set when the Grizzlies snatched an 8-7 lead and went on to get four unanswered service points. The Grizz stayed ahead by at least four the rest of the set to force a fifth set.
In set five, the Grizzlies led by at least two the whole way and ended with five consecutive points.
“We go to five sets a lot,” Anderson said. “We knew we had to focus on every point and try to stay ahead.”
I.F. head coach Laurel Craynor said like Congdon, she anticipated a competitive marathon match Thursday.
“I think we definitely expected a long, drawn out fight,” Craynor said. “They got the best of us.”
I.F. and Skyline begin the 4A District 6 tournament Tuesday at Bonneville. Their exact seeds were unavailable by Thursday’s print deadline.
Craynor said the Tigers are focusing on making extra efforts and the little things.
“Going after the ball, making that extra hustle,” Craynor said. “It’s definitely making a difference for us. The more we make the extra efforts, it’s gonna pay off for us.”