Coach Tim Richards felt the Wood River High School varsity volleyball team was a little more consistent in Thursday's 25-15, 25-21, 25-16 non-conference home victory over a young Buhl Tribe squad.
On their homecourt the Wolverines bounced back after their four-game Great Basin Conference West loss at Jerome two nights before.
Wood River (8-7, 2-2 league) came into Thursday's match trying to right the ship after its trip to Jerome. "We got into a bad run down in Jerome but we passed a little better against Buhl," said Richards.
He added, "We changed our lineup to make sure Hannah Gove was hitting more for us."
Senior co-captain Gove (10 kills, 7 service winners) led the way for the host Wolverines.
Gove notched seven of those kills in Wood River's third-game victory over Buhl. Hailey senior setter Dani Stone came off the bench to pass over to Gove on the left side for many of those points.
Junior Kaylee Baker (7 kills) and senior Lauren Morgenthaler (7 kills) contributed against 3A Buhl (6-3, 4-2 league), which brought a varsity squad with two seniors, one junior and six sophomores.
Very consistent at the serving stripe, Morgenthaler added a team-best 14 service winners. Richards said, "Lauren missed her first serve in 90 serves against Buhl."
The first game was all Wood River. Senior co-captain Hannah Ward (13 service winners, 4 kills) hammered six straight points at the line for a 6-0 lead and Baker nailed five kills to help Hailey dominate.
Led by the hitting of senior Leslie Hunter (9 kills, 5 service winners) and 6-0 junior Ellie Spencer (10 kills, 5 service winners), Buhl played better defense in the second game and built a 17-11 cushion. Wood River junior setter Haleigh Hall rallied the home team with two clutch tips and passed to Morgenthaler for two straight winners and an 18-18 tie.
Two kills by senior Carly Ballantyne and two more by Ward helped Wood River complete its rally 25-21.
Buhl led 11-7 in the third game before Morgenthaler reeled off 13 straight service winners and Gove started heating up on the left side. The winning points came from senior McKenna Murphy. She made a terrific dig for a point and blocked at the net for the game-winning point.
"We're getting all the girls coming in and contributing," said Richards, whose Wolverines hosted the Minico Spartans (1-9, 0-5 league) Tuesday in another league match.
The league-leading Burley Bobcats (6-6, 4-0 league) looked to nail down the regular-season Great Basin title Tuesday at Jerome (7-6, 3-2). Wood River and Jerome are likely to square off in the first round of the Great Basin tourney Oct. 15 at Burley, with #1 Burley playing #4 Minico in the other first-round match next Monday.
Wood River travels to Burley Tuesday, Oct. 9 but first, goes to the 21-team Borah Invitational Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6 at Capital High School in Boise and Mountain View High in Meridian.
In its pool play games, all at Mountain View Friday, Wood River plays Timberline at 4 p.m., Caldwell at 6 p.m., Kuna at 7 p.m. and the host Mountain View Mavericks at 8 p.m. The tournament continues Saturday at 9 a.m. and winds up late in the day.