The Troy Trojans hoisted the 1A Division 1 Whitepine League trophy after a three-set victory against the Potlatch Loggers on Thursday at the Lewis-Clark State Activity Center.
The set scores were 25-10, 25-22, 25-8.
Following that match, Kendrick bagged the 1A Division II title with a four-set win over Deary.
This Troy-Potlatch district championship matchup was eerily similar to the contest between the teams at the end of the regular season. Troy dominated the first and third sets with Potlatch competing and keeping it close in the second.
“I thought we stayed in the system and we were able to attack in the first set,” Troy coach Deborah Blazzard said. “The second set, we didn’t do it as well, and Potlatch was able to get right back in there with us. That’s something we need to work on heading into State.”
With the victory, Troy becomes the No. 1 seed in the 1A Division I Idaho state tournament on Oct. 29. Potlatch will be on the opposite side of the bracket in the second seed position.
In the second set, Potlatch held a 5-1 lead before the Trojans started to rally back and take their first lead at 8-7. The Trojans haven’t faced many come-from-behind scenarios in Whitepine League play.
“We played in a Spokane tournament earlier in the year and there were several situations where we were down and had to come back,” Blazzard said. “I think that helped us prepare to not be so emotional when we’re down and I think that helped tonight.”
Potlatch coach Ron Dinsmoor gave Troy props on its victory.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Troy on an outstanding match tonight. They’re the best team in our league and they proved it tonight. They were more prepared than us and I have to do a better job preparing the team as we get closer to State.”
Despite a valiant effort in the second, the momentum for Potlatch started to dip in the third set.
“I told them the second set won’t mean anything if we don’t come out in the third set fighting like every point is the set-winning point,” Dinsmoor said. “I knew that because it was exactly what happened when we played them at home. We got down big at the beginning of the third and we weren’t able to come back. Unfortunately, the same thing happened tonight.”
Potlatch senior Olivia Wise was 9-for-11 at the service line with a team-leading seven kills.
Troy sophomore Jolee Ecklund notched seven kills. She saved her best for last, according to Blazzard.
“She’s a great outside hitter and she’s really good at spot hitting,” Blazzard said. “I’m really excited to see what else she does for us at State and for the next two years for sure.”
Kendrick defeats Deary in four
The Kendrick Tigers experienced every up and down that volleyball has to offer in its 23-25, 25-11, 25-19, 25-22 1A Division II Whitepine League championship victory against Deary.
Morgan Silfow notched a kill to give Kendrick its first lead in the opening set at 14-13. From there, the lead changed hands five times.
“Volleyball is a mental game,” Deary coach Brooke Swanson said. “We performed so well in the beginning of the match, then we took a hard fall. Then, we showed our ability to come back in the fourth set.”
In the fourth, Kendrick and Deary went blow-for-blow. Kendrick held the 20-14 advantage late, but after some miscues by the Tigers, the Mustangs trimmed Kendrick’s lead to one.
From there, Rose Stewart and Hannah Tweit notched kills to give Kendrick a 24-21 advantage. Erin Morgan hit the game-winner for the Tigers.
“I call it the Kendrick special,” Kendrick coach Molly Olson said. “We go up and down all the time. But, we always find a way to pull together and rally as a team. It really could’ve gone either way tonight.”
With the win, Kendrick advances to the state tournament on Oct. 29 at Lewiston High School. Deary will play in a state play-in game on Saturday in Coeur d’Alene. Their opponent is to be determined.
The kills for the Tigers were spread out among their hitters, which is the norm for Kendrick, according to Olson.
“Last year we didn’t have any seniors so this team has been together for two years now and they’ve really come together,” she said. “If one person is off, then another person will pick up the slack. I also think I have a pretty solid bench, which is a huge benefit to the team.”
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