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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 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 8 - 14, 2003


Wood River makes it
to Borah final

Second place in Boise volleyball

To be the best, youíve got to play the bestóand thatís what the Wood River High School varsity volleyball team did last weekend at the second annual Borah Lions Invitational tournament for 16 teams in Boise.

Wood River, making its case as the premier team in the Idaho 3A ranks, battled for six preliminary match wins and earned a berth in Saturdayís championship match against the stateís #1-ranked 5A team, Idaho Falls.

But Idaho Falls (30-5) was just too tough at the net with its awesome 6-2 freshman star Ashton Hansen (6 kills, 4 blocks in the finale). Idaho Falls held off Wood Riverís determined upset bid 17-11, 17-14.

Natalie Green (9 kills) puts down a winner against Gooding. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Wood River settled for second place, its highest tournament finish of the season after fifth-place results at the Hillcrest tournament Sept. 26 in Idaho Falls and the Wood River Invitational meet Sept. 19 in Hailey.

Coach Tim Richards of Wood River said, "Our goal was to win the tournament and we just got a little tight in the last game. The girls havenít won a tournament so far. Maybe that will change in the weeks ahead."

Richards suggested that Wood Riverís next goal is to win the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference tournament and qualify for the State 3A tourney in Coeur díAlene as the top-seeded team from the Fourth District.

Celebrating their success against Gooding are, from left, Emily Smith, Liz Rippon, Rachael Richards, Jessica King, Natalie Green and Charli Lindley. Express photo by David N. Seelig

And Wood River is in great shape to achieve that goal. The Wolverines stand at 22-9 overall and remain unbeaten at 7-0 in SCIC play with three league matches to playóhome against Filer Thursday, home against Declo next Tuesday, and at Buhl on Oct. 16.

The regular-season SCIC winner gets a cushy ride through the tournament, starting with a match against the #6-seeded team Saturday, Oct. 18 at Kimberly. The winner of that match waits around until Tuesday, Oct. 22 for the other teams to duke it out.

Jessica King (6 kills) delivers against Gooding, while Nikki Calzacorta (left) prepares to dig. Express photo by David N. Seelig

"We want to go into the tournament with the advantage," said coach Richards. The Wolverines have won three straight SCIC tournament titles and boast of eight league volleyball championships in nine years.

Last Wednesday, visiting Wood River dominated Filer 25-14, 25-9, 25-18. Jessica King (9 kills), Charli Lindley (6 kills, 18 service points) and Natalie Green (13 services, 4 blocks) led the Wolverines, who passed and defended well throughout the match.

Wood River will conduct its "Senior Night" for a special class of seniors next Tuesday when the Wolverines host Declo and Jerome for a triangular meet at 5 p.m. on the Hailey floor.

Honored will be King, co-captain Lindley, Green, Emily Smith, Nikki Calzacorta, co-captain Liz Rippon and Koree Hawkes.


At the Borah tourney

Wood River played in a tough four-team pool Friday at the Borah tournament and emerged as the top-ranked team because of its 17-10, 16-18 victory on point differential over the Highland Rams from Pocatello.

Liz Rippon, an expert passer, is the leader of Wood Riverís strong defense. Express photo by David N. Seelig

The Wolverines also defeated Borah and Meridian in pool play and were ranked third behind #1-ranked Idaho Falls and #2-ranked Skyview entering Saturdayís tournament play.

All tournament matches were best two-of-three, played to 17 points instead of the normal cap of 25 points. Wood River (3A) and Cambridge (1A) were the only tournament schools below the 4A and 5A level at Borah.

Wood River polished off 14th-ranked Meridian 17-8, 17-6 and then advanced with a 17-9, 12-17, 17-14 squeaker over Vallivue of Caldwell. In the semi-final, Wood River beat Borah once again, this time 17-10, 17-12.

Meanwhile, Idaho Falls cruised past Nampa, Boise and Eagle.

In the finale, coach Wendy Johnsonís Idaho Falls squad dominated the net and built a 13-4 cushion en route to the 17-11 first-game win. Middle hitter Hansen was unstoppable with 4 kills, 3 blocks in that game alone.

Charli Lindley keeps the ball in play at the net during Wood Riverís 25-12, 25-14, 25-21 home win over Gooding Sept. 29 in Hailey. Goodingís Cady Coates (#1) and Kalynn Pereira (#2) try to block her, while teammate Rachael Richards (left) comes to help. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Wood River made a better showing in the second game and had a 13-12 lead in the nip-and-tuck battle. But the Wolverine defense wasnít ready for a clutch tip by Pam Cousin of Idaho Falls, and the Tigers scored four more points to put the lid on a 17-14 win.

Rippon (5 serves, 2 kills) played well in the final match, in fact, coach Richards said Ripponís passing has been instrumental to the teamís success all season. Lindley (3 kills) and Green (2 blocks) added key points.

For the weekend, Jessica King led the way with 35 kills in 86 attempts, and only 5 errors. Lindley had 24 kills in 68 attempts and only 10 errors, Green 13 kills out of 44 attempts and Rippon 11 kills out of 36 attempts.

Leading setters at Borah were Emily Smith with 29 assists and Rachael Richards with 18 assists. Coach Richards was proud that Charli Lindley was named Channel 6 "Student/Athlete of the Week," for her play during the Borah tourney. The segment was televised by the Boise-area TV station Monday during halftime of the NFL football game.



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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.