Post Falls Trojans peak for state run in volleyball
The Post Falls volleyball team is playing its best at the right time.
Now the Trojans want to see what their best can do at state.
Post Falls captured its second regional championship since 1991, stopping the Lake City Timberwolves 25-15, 25-6, 22-25, 25-16 in the 5A Region I final Saturday afternoon at Post Falls.
The Trojans (28-6) go to state for a second straight year. They will meet District III runner-up Boise (15-15), which entered district play as the seventh seed, when the tournament begins Friday at Canyon Ridge High School in Twin Falls.
Joining Post Falls at state will be Lewiston (26-7), which faces District III third seed Centennial in a state opener. Lewiston held off LC (8-18) 25-23, 25-12, 24-26, 14-25, 15-11 to earn the second state berth.
In an earlier loser-out match, Lewiston downed Coeur d’Alene (9-17) 14-25, 25-16, 25-8, 25-19.
Post Falls had several hands and arms involved in the victory. Juniors Ashley Jibby, Allison Meehan and Siera Monti had seven kills apiece and junior Tori Bertsch had six.
LC couldn’t counter the Trojans’ balance.
“We want to make sure we move the ball outside, middle and back,” PF coach Willow Hanna said. “Make sure we’re mixing up the blocks so their blockers aren’t camped out on us. Our passing allowed us to do that today.”
The Trojans were especially dominating in the second set, opening a 14-1 lead. Jibby was serving the final points and had two aces, including the game-winner.
“I thought we had a lot more intensity than usual,” said Bertsch, who shares setting duties with Meehan. “We definitely wanted it and went after it.”
The Trojans had their typical one-set lull, too. LC, which showed steady improvement through the year, kept PF from a sweep with a hard-fought effort in the third set. Junior Jennifer Schuman led the T-Wolves with 11 kills.
“I thought we had great ball control most of the match,” Hanna said. “We still have this bug where we go four games. But we’re playing really well right now and of course you want to be playing really well going to state. We’re doing kind of what we want with the ball right now.”
It was evident Saturday.
• Lewiston appeared poised to sweep LC in the match to decide the second berth. But the T-Wolves clawed back, taking the third and fourth sets to set up the deciding fifth game.
LC led 10-8 in the fifth set, but the Bengals, behind 6-foot-2 senior middle Savannah Blinn, charged back. Blinn, who had a match-high 21 kills, got the match winner with a tip.
Schuman led LC with 19 kills. MacKenzie Brown had three aces and 11 digs.
“I was pleased with how much we improved through the season,” LC coach Brett Taylor said.
4A Region I: Sandpoint (15-6) swept Moscow 25-11, 25-19, 25-17 in the title match at Sandpoint.
Earlier, Sandpoint swept Moscow 25-17, 25-14, 25-13. Moscow eliminated Lakeland with 25-17, 25-14, 25-13 and in five sets.
Sandpoint advances to state, which begins next Friday at Kimberly High School. Sandpoint will open against Rigby (34-7).
Samantha Buratto led Sandpoint with 15 kills and Blake Plaster had 43 digs in the two matches.
In Lakeland’s two matches, Maddie Ray led with 13 kills.
3A District I: St. Maries earned the opportunity to defend its state championship.
The Lumberjacks (24-5) swept Kellogg in the title match 25-14, 15-14, 25-8 after sweeping Priest River 26-24, 25-16, 25-13.
Joining St. Maries at state is Timberlake (20-8), which outlasted Kellogg 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13.
St. Maries takes on Bear Lake or Salmon when state begins Friday at Wendell High School. Timberlake meets Snake River.
In earlier matches, Timberlake swept Priest River 25-21, 25-21, 25-13 after losing to Kellogg 25-16, 21-25, 20-25, 18-25, 15-8.
Marlee Masterson led St. Maries with a combined 32 kills in the two matches. Tia Asbury had 33 digs.
1A Division I: Lakeside (12-1) topped Lapwai 27-25, 26-24, 9-25, 26-24 to earn a state berth in a play-in match at St. Maries.
Lakeside meets Challis in a state opener Friday at Declo High School.
Joelle Miller led Lakeside with 16 kills and four blocks. Jennifer Mitchell had 30 assists.