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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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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 23 - 29, 2002


In anyone’s tournament, Hailey stays alive

District volleyball at Wood River’s gym

Showing desire, Wood River 5-10 junior outside hitter Charli Lindley hammers a winner during Thursday’s "Senior Night" victory over Buhl on the Hailey hardwoods. Express photo by David N. Seelig


When push came to shove, great team defense and blocking lifted the #2-seeded Wood River High School Wolverines to a hair-raising five-game triumph over #3 Filer Saturday during the opening round of the SCIC volleyball tourney in Hailey.

Coach Tim Richards’ Wolverines, two-time defending champions of the SCIC tournament, were just two points away from falling into the loser bracket—but they pulled it together and rallied past upset-minded Filer 18-21, 21-19, 17-21, 21-19, 15-8.

In a closely-matched tournament in which any of the six teams could conceivably prevail, Wood River’s desire and poise paid dividends against a scrappy Filer squad that played outstanding defense all match.

"We came out in the fifth game and wanted it so bad," said Wood River’s 5-9 sophomore middle Syringa Stark, who had three huge blocks to extend her team’s fifth-game lead from 10-8 to 13-8. Natalie Green also had three blocks earlier in the game as Hailey took over the net.

Leading the Wolverine defense that tightened up at crunch time was Jessica King (10 digs, 14 kills).

Green finished with 11 kills and 6 blocks. Emily Smith’s all-around effort included 6 kills, 15 assists and 3 blocks. Whitney Richards led the way with 17 assists. Liz Rippon had 6 service points in the second-game win. Charli Lindley added 6 service points in the pivotal fourth-game win in which Wood River rallied from a 19-17 deficit—Smith serving it out.

Hailey coach Tim Richards is proud of the depth of his talented team. Everybody contributes, including 5-8 junior outside hitter Liz Rippon, lining up a winner earlier this season. Express photo by David N. Seelig


The main thorn in Wood River’s side was Filer’s 6-0 senior MB Janae Hymas (19 kills). Her strong hitting and clever tipping put Wood River on its heels, until Hailey figured it out.

"Coach told us that we shouldn’t take out our frustrations on ourselves, but take them out on the other team," said Stark. Coach Richards said, "We blocked the middle well when we beat them earlier in the season, and that’s what we needed to beat them."

The coach added, "Filer challenged us and it took a while for us to recognize it. But we’ve been the kind of team all season that relies on everyone contributing. Get me to the fifth game, I told the team, and we’ll win."

With the victory, Wood River (18-13) moved into Tuesday night’s semi-final against top-seeded Buhl (14-4). The Tribe also dodged a bullet Saturday, dropping the first two games and charging back to beat #4 Gooding 17-21, 19-21, 21-15, 21-13, 15-8.

Championship match is scheduled for today, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on the Hailey hardwoods—both finalist teams advancing to the State 3A tournament Nov. 1 in Twin Falls. More will be at stake in today’s 5 p.m. elimination match—the winner going to state and the loser going home.

Wood River (8-2 league, tied with Buhl) finished its regular-season slate with two SCIC wins—beating host Declo 21-17, 21-13, 20-22, 21-12 last Tuesday and rallying past visiting Buhl 21-19, 12-21, 14-21, 21-16, 15-9 Thursday on "Senior Night."

Lindley (14 kills), Green (8 kills) and King (8 kills) pounded away in the Buhl triumph. Whitney Richards chipped in 19 service points and 21 assists for the Wolverines.



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