The Timberlake volleyball team’s day at the Idaho State 3A tournament ended seemingly as fast as it started.
Offensively diverse Sugar-Salem took it to Timberlake early and never let off the throttle as the Diggers swept the Tigers 25-5, 25-21, 25-17 in an opening match at Lake City High School.
Timberlake put up more fight against Weiser before being eliminated 25-9, 25-22, 25-21.
“It was a rough day,” Timberlake coach Michelle Garwood said. “We knew those teams from the south were going to be good. You get to this level and you can’t have a bad day. You’ve got to be spot on. The teams we played were tough teams.”
In the first match, Sugar-Salem got out to a 14-1 in the first set. Most of Timberlake’s five points came on serving errors by the Diggers.
In the second set, though, Timberlake started to look like the team that captured the Intermountain League and District I championships. Garwood adjusted her lineup to try and battle the Diggers’ tall, athletic front row.
The strategy worked the rest of the match, especially in the second game. But it didn’t throw off the Diggers.
Timberlake twice pulled within three points late in the second game and then used an ace from Kenzie Dean to cut Sugar-Salem’s lead to 23-21. But a kill from Peytan Crapo stopped the Tigers’ momentum.
Again Timberlake was beset by a slow start in the final game. A kill from Jacquelyn Mallet pulled the Tigers within 14-10 but they couldn’t get any closer.
“They were a very athletic team,” Garwood said of Sugar-Salem. “Their setter (Chaise Dodson) did an amazing job. We adjusted some things and came back and that helped with the overall groove of our system.”
Last year the Diggers had just one offensive weapon. Friday, the attacks were spread around. Six Diggers had two or more kills led by nine from Crapo.
“These (opening) games are interesting because you don’t know what to expect,” said Sugar-Salem coach Cami Dodson, whose team took third last year.
Against Weiser, Timberlake started slow like it did in the first match. But in the second set, the Tigers twice held three-point leads.
The Tigers also were competitive in the third set but couldn’t get over the hump.
Jacquelyn Mallet led Timberlake with five kills, eight digs and three aces against Weiser.
It’s a tournament and a season Timberlake should learn much from looking to next year. Ten of 12 players return.
Shelley and Emmett were the most impressive teams Friday, going 2-0.
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