Finishing second at the State 5A volleyball tournament would probably be disappointing for tradition-laden Idaho Falls.
For the Post Falls Trojans, though, it represents the highest state finish in school history.
Idaho Falls added a fourth state championship trophy in eight final appearances Saturday evening as the Tigers topped Post Falls 25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 25-17 at Coeur d’Alene High School.
“Even though we got second, I’m so proud of our team,” Post Falls senior setter Tori Bertsch said. “This is the best our school has done in this tournament and to leave with that honor is something I’ll never forget.”
To reach the final, Post Falls downed defending state champ Rocky Mountain 22-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-16 in the semifinals.
Lake City took third, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to knock off Rocky Mountain 20-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 15-7.
In the semifinals, Lake City opened a 2-0 lead and never could regain momentum as the Timberwolves fell 22-25, 22-25, 29-27, 15-17, 15-8 to Idaho Falls.
Post Falls (32-8) never pieced together much against IF despite forcing a fourth set.
Trojans coach Willow Hanna had nothing but praise for IF (34-7).
“They’re great,” Hanna said. “They pass well, they control the ball well and their setter (Hayley Farrer) is a dynamic player and fun to watch. They just kept putting the ball down. We struggled to find holes to score. They were just everywhere.”
In the semifinals, Post Falls started slowly. The Trojans, though, found a good rhythm in sets two and three, and the defending state champs couldn’t stop them.
“We were a little tentative to get started, but once we got rolling we kept rolling,” Hanna said.
All facets of the Trojans’ game were working. Ashley Jibby on the outside, middles Danielle Failor and Allison Meehan and setter Bertsch set the tone.
“It’s great when you’re passing well, you can run any offense,” Hanna said.
On match point, Jibby yelled out that she wanted the ball. And she put an exclamation point on the kill, her team-high 16th.
“I did want that swing,” she said. “I knew the second I got it I was going to put it down. I had this vision I was going to put it down.”
Jibby said it was by far the best the Trojans have played this year.
“Dani (Failor) and Allison (Meehan), every time they got the ball they put it down,” Jibby said.
Meehan finished with 12 kills. Failor had nine kills and six blocks. Bertsch had 33 assists and 10 digs and Jazmin Chavez had 11 digs.
LC was cruising along in its semifinal through two sets. Despite a slow start in the third in which the T-Wolves trailed 10-4, they fought back to have a chance to put Idaho Falls away.
The T-Wolves had leads at 24-23, 25-24 and 27-26 but couldn’t get match point.
“They (IF) made some adjustments,” LC coach Bret Taylor said. “They started attacking our middle more effectively. We really struggled there.”
LC struggled getting the ball in the usual spots to its hitters.
“Their adjustments were more efficient than we could handle,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They got us off balance.”
Kylie Curtis led LC with 26 kills and Jennifer Schuman had 22.
IF coach Wendy Johnson said Curtis and Schuman are two of the best hitters she’s seen this season.
“We had a difficult time with them. They are flat out fabulous,” Johnson said.
3A: Bear Lake swept St. Maries (25-10) 25-21, 25-14, 25-18 in the third-place match.
In a rematch of last year’s final, Snake River handled St. Maries in the semifinals 23-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-17.
1A Division I: Hagerman swept Lakeside (14-9) of Plummer/Worley 25-21, 25-15, 25-15 in the match for fourth.
1A Division II: Clark Fork (22-5) captured third, topping Mackay 25-23, 27-25, 14-25, 23-25, 15-7.
Camas County swept Clark Fork in the semifinals – 25-13, 25-13, 25-17.