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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 2 - 8, 2002


SCIC volleyball is
anybody’s game

Wolverines spikers make 
IF consolation final

Don’t even try to figure out which two teams are going to emerge from the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference tournament Oct. 19-23 in Hailey and qualify for the State 3A tourney.

With the new, unpredictable rally scoring format and the closeness of the six SCIC teams, it’s parity, baby, and the only thing that will matter is how you play on that particular night.

Natalie Green was a force at the net for Wood River last week. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Frontrunner Buhl (9-2, 5-1 league) has the big boomers led by junior Jessica Brown and senior Sherry King, but Filer (4-2 league) is always tough—and Declo (3-3) is a wild card with two come-from-behind five-game wins at Filer and Wood River.

But coach Tim Richards’ Wood River Wolverines, the two-time defending SCIC champs, played pretty well in a busy and challenging mid-season stretch over the last week.

Wood River (12-12, 4-2 league) recorded two SCIC victories—in four games over Kimberly (3-8, 1-6) last Thursday in Hailey and in five over host Gooding (5-5, 2-5) Monday. The final game went to 15-13 in Wood River’s tight win over Gooding.

In the Kimberly home match, Jessica King led the way with 15 kills while Natalie Green added 7 kills and 7 blocks. Aubrey Kirtley finished with 24 service points including 4 aces. Rachael Richards had 12 assists.

Wood River jumped ahead in a big way in the opener. Kirtley served 9 straight winners for a 10-1 Hailey lead. Rachael Richards added 4 serves and 4 assists in the 21-6 romp.

Kimberly has one of the league’s best in 5-11 senior middle hitter Rachel Bulcher—and she got revved up her excellent serving and hitting in the 21-18 Bulldog second-gamd win.

Wood River, sparked by King’s 5 kills, Liz Rippon’s 6 service points and Emily Smith’s 4 assists, led the whole way in the third game but Kimberly sliced its deficit to 18-16. That’s when Charli Lindley made a huge block and Smith a winning tip.

Kimberly’s improved defense made it harder on Wood River in the fourth game as well. The score was 19-19, but a long Bulldog serve gave it back to Wood River and the match finished with a 21-19 fourth game.

King (5 kills) and Kirtley (4 service points) did the job in the finale. Syringa Stark ended with 6 kills, Rippon 5 kills and Smith 5 kills. Rippon added 8 service points and Richards 6. Smith had 6 assists as well.

Host Buhl defeated the upset-minded Wolverines 21-13, 17-21, 21-16, 10-21, 15-11 last Tuesday with Brown drilling a total of 19 kills.

"I thought we should beaten Buhl," said Richards, acknowledging that Buhl’s Brown and King are strong players. "In the long run a balanced team like ours will beat team relying on one or two players."

Wood River hosted Filer Tuesday night, travels to Highland of Pocatello Thursday and goes to Jerome Oct. 9.

Coach Richards is happy to have senior setter Whitney Richards back from her knee injury.

He said, "We’ve always been scrappy, playing everybody tough even though we didn’t have our quarterback. Playing with setters who don’t have much varsity experience, we just haven’t been able to run our quick stuff. With Whitney, we can."


Hillcrest weekend tournament

For a team seeded dead last in last weekend’s 12-team Hillcrest/Bonneville tournament in Idaho Falls, Wood River made great strides.

Wood River, benefiting greatly by the return of Whitney Richards, won four of its six matches Saturday and went all the way to the consolation final before falling to Rigby.

Friday’s pool play determined whether a team would be in the championship or consolation bracket for Saturday’s tournament—and Wood River dropped three very tight matches to Idaho Falls, Bonneville and Cokeville (Wyo.) on Friday.

"Those matches could have gone either way," said coach Richards.

Saturday, Wood River started quickly with a 21-16, 21-19 victory over Madison of Rexburg. King (12 kills) and Green (7 kills, 3 blocks) sparked Hailey at the net, and Whitney Richards had 10 service points.

Rigby downed Wood River 21-18, 21-19 in the next match, then the Wolverines topped Skyline of Idaho
Falls 21-18, 21-16 behind the play of Green (12 service points), King (5 kills) and Smith (3 blocks).

"Liz Rippon did a nice job in the middle for us all day," Richards said.

Wood River avenged its Friday defeat with a 21-17, 19-21, 15-6 win over Cokeville. Excelling at the line were Whitney Richards (10 service points), Green (9) and Lindley (5).

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Wood River’s relatively easy 21-13, 21-13 over Century of Pocatello. Tough at the net were Green (6 kills), Lindley (5) and King (4). Richards said, "Century thought they were pretty good and we hammered them."



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