Seniors lead Kendrick Tigers to state tournament

The Kendrick Tigers celebrate a point during the 1A Division I District Tournament at Lewis-Clark State College on Wednesday, Oct. 23 in Lewiston.

This weekend’s Idaho Class 1A Division II tournament at Lewiston High School will mark Ann Munstermann’s first trip to State as Kendrick’s head volleyball coach, and her seven seniors’ first appearance there since their freshman year in 2016.

To get to where they are, the Tigers turned the tables on a longtime nemesis. Logos of Moscow defeated Kendrick in the previous three district tournament finals, and it looked like that might be the outcome for a fourth consecutive year when the Knights took the first set from the Tigers in the final last week. But this time, Kendrick rallied for a 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-8 victory, securing the district title and state berth.

“We struggled at first, but once the girls came back and got comfortable with the play, they just dominated,” said Munstermann, who is in her third year coaching the Tigers.

Opposing Kendrick in its opening-round state match will be Watersprings of Idaho Falls — a team which boasts a 28-2 season mark of its own. The match will be at 9 a.m. Friday.

Kendrick has amassed a 17-1 record in best-of-5 matches this season, including a 10-0 mark in Whitepine League Division II contests, with the lone defeat coming in mid-September against larger-division foe Orofino. The Tigers bring an 11-match winning streak to State.

In accounting for her team’s success, Munstermann cites her large, close-knit senior class and the depth and range of skills present in her roster over and above the contributions of any individual standout performer.

“The whole team is amazing. ... It’s just a well-rounded group of girls,” she said.

Senior leaders for Kendrick this year include outside hitter and team captain Megan Brocke, setter and co-captain Lauren Morgan, and libero Mya Brown, whose passing game Munstermann enthuses over. Middle hitters Eliza Olson and Cassidy Lustig, who made 17 and 13 kills, respectively, in the recent match with Logos, are major contributors to the Tigers’ offense. Setter Jaiden Anderson and middle/outside hitter Ellie Cope round out the seven seniors among Kendrick’s 10-player roster.

“I think we have a huge advantage with these girls working together as much as they have,” Munstermann said of the team’s strength compared to the rest of the state field. “They’ve been working together for many, many years besides high school years.”

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