Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Top-seeded Hailey spikers prepare for tourney

Starts Monday in Hailey


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

The Wood River coaching staff is looking forward to having junior Ryann Menges ready for the upcoming district tourney. Menges was involved in a minor car accident Wednesday and missed the team?s matches the next three days. Photo by David N. Seelig

Having won the Great Basin Conference West regular-season title in its first year playing prep volleyball at the 4A level, the Wood River High School volleyball team will try to continue its success in next week?s district meet.

Top-seeded Wood River (15-13 overall, 5-0 league) will open its Great Basin Conference West tournament quest by hosting fourth-seeded Burley for a first-round match Monday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. on the Hailey hardwoods.

They?ll use two nets because #2-seeded Minico (6-8, 4-2 league) will host #3 Jerome at the same time Monday in Hailey. The winners will clash right away, about 7:45 p.m. Monday in the semi-final. Final matches take place Tuesday.

Whichever team wins the 4A district tourney will earn an automatic berth to the State 4A tournament Oct. 28 in Idaho Falls and will play for the conference title and state seeding against the Fifth District winner Oct. 23 in Pocatello.

Last Thursday, Wood River improved to 5-0 in league play with a 25-17, 20-25, 26-24, 25-14 victory over the Minico Spartans at Rupert.

Rachael Richards (28 assists) set the offense in motion through hitters like Hannah Richards (11 kills) and Jamie Stone (10 kills). Syringa Stark added four blocks for the Wolverines.

The Wolverines staged their ?Senior Night,? Tuesday against Burley in a preview of Monday?s tourney opener.

Wood River coach Tim Richards said, ?Our goal all year has been to go undefeated in district, win the top seed and get to play at home, earn a state berth and play for conference championship Oct. 23 in Pocatello.?

Check Friday?s Express for results.



Borah Lions tournament

Wood River wasn?t at full strength for last weekend?s fourth annual, 20-team Borah Lions tourney in Boise.

Senior Syringa Stark stayed home to take Saturday?s SAT test. Another starter, junior Ryann Menges, was slightly injured Wednesday in a traffic accident. She missed both the Minico match and the Borah tourney.

Coach Tim Richards consequently viewed the Borah meet as a good opportunity to introduce some of his younger players to highly-competitive volleyball. They included freshman Lauren Morgenthaler and sophomores Jordan Scanlon and Kristen Miniard.

?Along with Leah McIlhenny and Elissa Baker, that gave us pretty much all sophomores to go with Rachael, Hannah and Jamie Stone,? said coach Richards. Another sophomore, Casey Vegwert, did back-row substituting and soph Kelsey Lidstrom was a factor.

In Friday?s pool play, Wood River divided its four matches. The Wolverines split with Mountain View, losing 25-15 then winning 22-21 in a timed match. The Hailey spikers beat Caldwell 25-19, 25-19 and lost to a strong Eagle outfit 25-17, 25-15.

Friday?s grudge match came against the Kuna Kavemen. After Kuna won the first game 25-18 and surged ahead 8-1 in the second, ?Kuna started laughing at us,? Richards said. Wood River had the last laugh, however, rallying for a memorable 25-22 victory.

Minico ?is playing better,? Richards said, and the Spartans showed it Saturday morning with a 25-22, 25-23 triumph over Wood River. The Hailey spikers went on to beat Meridian 25-22, 20-25, 15-13 then lost their finale 25-15, 25-22 to Boise High.

?We played Boise pretty strong?and they were 10-2 in their conference with 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 girls across the middle,? said Richards. ?Our goals going to Boise were to have fun, get better and win some games. We did all three.

?But we do need to work more on our consistency in passing. Also, I?ve run about 12 different offenses this year. I hope to find one that works.?

Powerful Idaho Falls (33-4), the top-ranked 5A squad that has lost only to #1 4A Bonneville (32-1), dropped only one of its eight games Saturday to win the Borah tourney over Emmett. Bonneville wasn?t in the field.

Outside hitter Hannah Richards (32 kills) and middle hitter Jamie Stone (20 kills) led Hailey?s hitters. Kelsey Lidstrom and Lauren Morgenthaler each had 12 blocks. Rachael Richards, running the 5-1 offense, amassed 66 assists. Hannah Richards had 18 serves against Caldwell and 16 against Kuna to lead the WR servers.




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