happy group of Wolverines get their first touch of the 2002 district
championship trophy after their four-game win over Filer last Wednesday
on the Hailey floor. Front row, from left, Rachael Richards, Syringa
Stark and Liz Rippon. Back row, from left, assistant coach Gary Carr,
Christina Arpp, Jessica King, Charli Lindley, Kelsea Ballantyne, head
coach Tim Richards, Aubrey Kirtley, Whitney Richards, Emily Smith,
Natalie Green and assistant coach Dena Babcock. Express photo by
David N. Seelig
in Wood River
volleyball title for Hailey
scoring system changed. The head coach changed.
change for the Wood River High School volleyball team was the final
result of the Fourth District 3A tournament that has become a Hailey
domain for 18 years.
Richards’ #2-seeded Wolverines (20-13) held off the challenges of #1
Buhl and #3 Filer to win last week’s Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference
tourney in unbeaten fashion on the Hailey hardwoods.
Wood River’s third consecutive SCIC title, eighth district crown in
the past nine years—and 18th overall since Hailey came into volleyball
prominence with back-to-back state championships in 1977-78.
Richards (left) goes to the floor for a dig in Wednesday’s SCIC
championship match against Filer, as teammates Aubrey Kirtley (center)
and Charli Lindley lend their support. Express photo by David N.
earned Wood River the worst possible draw in the State 3A tournament
Nov. 1-2 at Burley High School. Wood River goes against five-time
defending state champion Bear Lake Friday at 9 a.m.
first-round state match-ups: Middleton vs. Bonners Ferry at 10:30 a.m.;
Shelley vs. Filer at noon; and Lakeland vs. Preston at 1:30 p.m. If Wood
River loses to Bear Lake, the Wolverines play again at 4 p.m. Friday. If
they win, it’s 5:45 p.m.
in Coeur d’Alene, Bear Lake (34-6) downed St. Maries (27-3) for the
State 3A championship. Wood River went two-and-out with losses to
Shelley and Lakeland.
Fifth District champion Bear Lake and Wood River have played once—the
Bears winning 15-8, 15-8 during pool play at the Wood River Invitational
in Hailey Sept. 21.
enough of the challenges looming ahead.
River made it eight straight match victories, taking care of #1 Buhl
21-15, 22-20, 14-21, 21-19 last Tuesday and Filer 21-15, 21-19, 19-21,
21-14 in Wednesday’s SCIC championship match.
outstanding team effort paved the way for the Wolverines, led by junior
Jessica King (25 kills on 64 attacks in the two matches) and the setting
of senior Whitney Richards (34 sets in the two triumphs).
Tuesday’s Buhl match, Wood River convincingly won the first game
21-15, but needed to rally from a 14-11 deficit for the 22-20
second-game victory. Timely blocks by Liz Rippon and Natalie Green put
Wood River over the hump after a 20-20 tie.
(10 kills on 23 attacks) pounded 6 kills in the third game, but Wood
River’s usually reliable serving deserted the home team and Buhl
stayed alive 21-14. But the green-and-white power returned in game four.
kills, 2 blocks) had 5 big kills in the decisive fourth game and Emily
Smith (8 kills, 16 sets) added 3 more. Whitney Richards finished with 20
sets and 13 digs as Wood River broke a 15-15 tie and held off Buhl
21-19. Charli Lindley had 6 kills, too.
four-game victory over Buhl in Wednesday’s semi-final put the Wildcats
into the championship match. In its current eight-match winning streak,
Wood River won three tough matches against Filer.
Wolverines, a young squad with only three seniors on the 11-player
roster, had to contain the strong hitting of Wildcat seniors Janae Hymas,
Christina Brown and Niki Peterson. And Filer was possibly too pumped up
in the early going.
River marched to a 10-1 lead on the serving of Whitney Richards (7 of
her team-high 17 service points in the first game) and Aubrey Kirtley (4
service points, 12 game). A kill by Emily Smith and block by Natalie
Green (7 kills, 4 blocks) finished off the 21-15 first-game win.
the difficulty of coming through the loser bracket, weary Filer started
to have serving problems in the second game and Wood River prevailed
21-19 behind the all-around play of Jessica King (14 kills, 6 blocks, 6
service points, 4 digs).
stayed alive 21-19 in the third game as Wolverine coach Tim Richards
made sure to get all his players into the championship match.
served by Kirtley put Wood River ahead 9-5 in the decisive fourth game
and the champs never looked back. Green and King each pounded 4 kills,
and Whitney Richards (14 sets, 6 digs) was a star all over the court in
her home finale.
Lindley (5 kills) also served three winners in the final game and Wood
River celebrated an undefeated run to the 2002 SCIC championship.