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St. Maries rally stops 3-time champs

Sat., Oct. 31, 2009

St. Maries volleyball coach Missy Asbury didn’t need words to describe how her team rallied from a two-game deficit against three-time 3A Idaho state champion Sugar-Salem.

Asbury pointed to her heart. The Lumberjacks seemingly got better the deeper the match went as St. Maries pulled off a 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-5 victory over the Diggers in a second-round match Friday afternoon at Coeur d’Alene High School’s Elmer Jordan Court.

“It was all heart. It was all heart,” Asbury said moments later. “We wanted it more than they did. We set this goal last year after we took second place – that this year was going to be our year. They just dug deep. The first couple of games we made a lot of errors. We cut back on our errors in the next three.”

St. Maries (23-3), which defeated Filer 3-0 in a first-round match, meets Fruitland (32-8) at noon today with the winner advancing to the title match.

•3A: The Lumberjacks didn’t look like the team that cruised through district play a week earlier in their first two games against Sugar-Salem.

Behind sophomore hitter Marlee Masterson and senior hitter Bree Arrhenius, St. Maries got untracked in the third game, holding off the Diggers 25-23. In the fourth, SM opened a 12-8 lead and never relinquished the margin. In the fifth, the Lumberjacks jumped on the Diggers quickly, opening a 10-3 advantage.

Masterson finished with 25 kills and Arrhenius had 20.

Priest River (12-11) fell 25-14, 25-18, 25-23 to Fruitland in a first-round match. Priest River was ahead 2-1 against Shelley in a late elimination match.

•4A: Sandpoint coach Karen Alsager figured her team played at about 75 percent of its ability.

Even if Alsager’s team wasn’t at the top of its game, Sandpoint was still too much for Hillcrest and Kuna. The Bulldogs topped Hillcrest 25-16, 25-16, 25-19 and Kuna 25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 25-19 in opening-day matches at Post Falls High School.

Sandpoint (24-4) takes on Bonneville (35-3) at noon today with the winner moving on to the championship match. Bonneville breezed to 3-0 wins over Columbia and Century.

Senior Christina Johnson led Sandpoint, particularly from the service line. She had eight aces in the first match and followed with five in the second. Senior hitter Piper Wahlin had a combined 28 kills.

“I’m very excited for my seniors. I thought they played fabulous,” Alsager said. “(Against Hillcrest), at one point they had five people trying to stop Christina’s serve. I thought after a while they were going to start pulling people out of the (bleachers).”

•5A: Post Falls survived a five-game marathon in the first round and then found out why Eagle has won three straight state titles.

Post Falls rallied past Centennial 20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-20, 15-13 and then fell 25-12, 25-19, 25-19 to Eagle.

The Trojans (27-9) take on Borah (26-11) in a loser-out match this morning at 10:30.

Post Falls, in its first trip to state since 1991, used a balanced attack to top Centennial. Senior hitter Christina Deitz led with 10 kills and senior middle hitter Rebecca Bauman had nine to go with four blocks.

Senior middle Andrea Mohney came up big in serving, especially in the late moments of the fifth game. She had three of her four aces in the final seven points as the Trojans rallied from an 11-7 deficit.

“At first I think we were hanging our heads a little bit,” Mohney said. “We really stepped up and came through. We were swinging the whole time, but our passing was off at the beginning.”

PF coach Willow Hanna told her team to take a nothing-to-lose approach to state.

“We’re just going to play our guts out, and that’s what we did,” Hanna said.

Lewiston (18-13) lost both of its matches. Borah eliminated Lewiston 23-25, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-9.


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