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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  October 17 - 23, 2001


Wolverine spikers finish strong for top seed

Beat Kimberly on first night of tourney

Trying to defend their Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference tournament championship, Wood River High School varsity volleyball players got off to a promising start Monday on the first day of the SCIC tourney at Gooding.

Jessica King, Wood River sophomore middle hitter, pounds a winner after a set from Whitney Richards (left) during the three-game "Senior Night" SCIC victory over Declo Oct. 9 in Hailey. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Top-seeded Wood River (18-13, 8-2 league) made short work of #6-seeded Kimberly (2-12, 0-10) by scores of 15-11, 15-10 in the first match of the six-school double elimination meet at Gooding High School gym.

Senior outside hitter Laurel Williams (8 kills) and junior setter Whitney Richards (18 assists) led the way on a night Wood River didn’t play its best.

But the outcome put Wood River exactly where coach Reamy Goodwin wanted the Wolverines to be—sitting on a bye and waiting for the other evenly-matched SCIC teams to duke it out for a chance to meet the regular-season champion Wolverines.

Goodwin said, "It will be dogfight to get to us." The 12th-year Hailey coach (275-173) knows what the dogfight is like—#3-seeded Wood River went through it last year after a tough three-game win over Declo to beat Filer and Buhl for the SCIC title.

The 2001 dogfight started later Monday when #5-seeded Gooding (16-15, 3-7) upset #2-seeded Buhl (9-11, 7-3) by marathon scores of 13-15, 18-16, 15-9 and #3-seeded Filer (16-11, 7-3) needed only two games to beat #4-seeded Declo (11-10, 5-5) by scores of 15-12, 15-10.

Filer and Gooding battled in the first match Tuesday, with the winner advancing to play Wood River later Tuesday night. The championship match is scheduled for today, Wednesday about 7 p.m. on the Gooding hardwoods.

Goodwin credited a few lineup changes he made after the Sept. 28-29 Bonneville-Hillcrest tourney to Wood River’s late-season surge featuring three straight SCIC wins over league challengers Filer, Declo and Buhl.

The changes included going to one setter, Richards, and putting sophomore Katie Sturtevant at opposite. Soph Jessica King went to middle hitter and soph Liz Rippon starting doing a great job for Hailey at outside hitter.

"When we went to a 5-1 from a 6-2 our sets became more consistent. It became easier for our outside hitters to adjust to one setter. They’d know what to expect," said Goodwin.

The top two teams advance to the State 3A tournament Oct. 26-27 at North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene. SCIC champ Wood River and Buhl (a playoff winner) represented the SCIC at state last year, Buhl beating Wood River in three games in the loser bracket to send Hailey home early.


Strong finish for Wolverines

Last week, Wood River achieved its goal of earning the top seed in the SCIC tournament with hard-fought triumphs over Declo and Buhl.

Wood River (8-4 at home) enjoyed a successful "Senior Night" last Tuesday with a 15-6, 7-15, 15-9 league victory over Declo.

Seniors Laurel Williams (9 kills), Kristine Hilt (5 kills) and Ashley Nilsen (9 service points) led the way, and senior Jamie King did a good job.

After Wood River led by Nilsen and junior Aubrey Kirtley sparked the home team to a 15-6 win in the first game, Declo came out with its guns blazing in the second. The Hornet serving and tough defensive play evened the match 15-7.

"I wanted our seniors to win it, but we had nine serve-reception errors in the second game," said Goodwin.

So, Goodwin returned to his starting lineup for the decisive third game. Wood River scored the final six points to win 15-9—Williams, Rippon, Sturtevant and Jessica King all contributing with kills and tips.

The outcome set up the SCIC title match Thursday at Buhl, with Wood River seeking revenge for its three-game home loss to Buhl Sept. 18.

And the Wolverines got it, rallying past Buhl 14-16, 15-11, 15-12.

Williams (14 kills), Rippon (8 kills) and Jessica King (7 kills) were huge factors at the net. Richards (37 assists), Natalie Green (4 kills) and Sturtevant (3 kills) played big roles.

"It was a great match," Goodwin said.

He added, "Our serving wasn’t great all night, but once we started serving away from (Buhl standout) Jessica Brown, we did better. We were making some of their other girls beat us. Whitney and Liz did a great job of serving away from Brown."

But it was Buhl’s excellent serving that put the Tribe ahead 6-0, 9-3 and 12-4 in the first game. Goodwin said, "They were serving us off the floor. Everything was going their way. I got the girls together to make sure we were in the thing.

"At 12-4 we started to side out real well and whittle things back. We actually were up 14-13 and had a serve at game point. Though we lost the first game 16-14, we had done what we wanted to do, and more."

Buhl jumped ahead 4-1 in the second game. Then, a substitution snafu by Goodwin caused a discussion that took fully 20 minutes to sort out. Wood River lost a sideout and point because of the error, but Buhl lost more—its momentum.

Wood River embarked on a 9-2 run after the problem was solved and closed it out with a 4-0 run. The third game began with Wood River building a 6-0 lead. Buhl’s rally fell short and Hailey prevailed 15-12.

Buhl’s sophomore hitter Jessica Brown ended with 11 kills, but Wood River did well neutralizing her.

Meanwhile, the Wood River junior varsity completed a promising season by finishing second in Saturday’s SCIC JV tourney at Declo. The top-seeded Hornets (14-1) nipped Wood River 16-14, 15-11 in the final match of the four-team meet.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.