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2019 Statewide Volleyball Preview
Volleyball teams across Idaho are set and ready for action in 2019. See the teams and players to watch!
Published: 9/4/2019 11:10:57 AM

5A Classification

Returning All-State Players

Charity Wilson, Madison (Junior)

Alexis Weaver, Madison (Senior)

Macie Gordon, Madison (Senior)

Morgan Lamb, Timberline (Junior)

Baylee Peterson, Madison (Senior)

Eden Bower, Skyview (Sophomore)

Megan Schulte, Timberline (Junior)

Classification Outlook

The ever-revolving door of high school athletics affects plenty of schools every year — some more than others.

Luckily for the Madison Bobcats, plenty of experienced talent will return for 2019. Madison will rely heavily on the experience of junior Charity Wilson, along with seniors Macie Gordon, Alexis Weaver and Baylee Peterson, decorated athletes representing their team on All-State, All-Conference and All-Area teams.

Of the 5A teams capable of challenging Madison’s title, Skyview looks to be a serious contender. The Hawks earned eight straight District Championships, despite moving up to 5A.  In addition, they have been in the State Championship match the past four years, winning twice. Although they lost both Whitney and Morgan Bower to BYU after graduation, they have a very athletic roster in 2019.

Karen Murphy, a four-year starter, will look to improve at the setting position with skilled hands. The duo of Molly Anderson and Leyah DeSouza will make it hard for teams to defend. Anderson is a steady and versatile outside hitter with great defense and the very physical DeSouza can swing outside or opposite.

Skyview will look to both players to contribute on offense. They also have their high energy libero, Keilani Sedrick, who covers a lot of court. Head Coach Kevin Murphy has slated a tough preseason schedule to make sure his team is ready for any challenges this season.

The Timberwolves of Lake City experienced minimal roster turnover, with nine players returning for 2019. The offense is paced by three-year varsity athlete Janae Rayborn on the outside. Lake City also received two transfers this season, improving an already deep bench.


4A Classification

Returning All-State Players

Makayla Tolman, Burley (Senior)

Makayla Sorenson, Bonneville (Senior)

Alexis McMurtrey, Bonneville (Senior)

Sadie Lott, Bonneville (Senior)

Julia McNulty, Century (Senior)

Lexi Bull, Century (Senior)

Courtney Weatherby, Kuna (Junior)

Classification Outlook

Century isn’t focused on losing the 2018 Idaho Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year, Zoe Thiros. Senior setter Lexi Bull will lead the offense while Julian McNulty will provide the defensive spark. 

Century’s pursuit of a District Championship and a return trip to the State Tournament will be challenged by Burley and Twin Falls, who also earned State berths last season. Burley has a dynamic 6-foot-3-inch lefty and BYU commit in Makayla Tolman, who shared the Conference Player of the Year honor with Thiros.

All the teams in 4A need to be aware of the Bonneville Bees.  They are returning five starters from their second-place finish in 2018.  Of those five, three are seniors who have played as varsity starters their entire careers. They will be led by outside hitter and Conference Player of the Year, Makayla Sorenson, a Weber State commit.  Combine her with other seniors like Alexis McMurtrey and Sadie Lott, and the Bees look poised to succeed.

There are many teams in 4A looking to dethrone the powerhouse favorites.  Middleton, Columbia and Kuna are each returning multiple players with postseason experience.


3A Classification

Returning All State Players

Camber Dodson, Sugar-Salem (Senior)

Ella Fischer, Filer (Junior)

Brooke Johnson, Parma (Junior)

Megan Pannell, Sugar-Salem (Senior)

Kate Hardy, Fruitland (Senior)

Katie Compas, Parma (Sophomore)

Kassie Adkinson, Gooding (Senior)

Grace Jackson, Parma (Sophomore)

Brooke Jensen, Timberlake (Junior)

Kylie Marneris, Timberlake (Senior)

Mardee Fillmore, Sugar-Salem (Senior)

Classification Outlook

After a powerful 2018 season, Filer is starting right where it ended last season, with five returning starters, along with Central Idaho Conference Player of the Year Ella Fischer. Accompanied by two experienced setters, Fischer and company could control a fluid and powerful attack. The combination of four senior teammates with valuable experience, new height in the middle and Coach of the Year Tanya Beard sets the stage for a potentially great season.

Sugar-Salem, meanwhile, is hoping for a rematch this State Tournament. This year, the Diggers will continue to be aggressive with their court general Camber Dodson as a senior setter.

She earned District VI Player of Year in 2018 and has fellow All-State teammates Megan Pannell and Mardee Fillmore alongside her. The Diggers also return five of six starters, allowing for great court chemistry.

Southern Idaho is a hotspot for volleyball talent, and the Homedale Trojans have some of the best athletes in the area. Although they graduated eight seniors, they have six more on the roster this season. Gracie Dines is a quick and athletic middle that is set up by Abbie Gray. New Head Coach Amber Fouts said her team “has put in the work and really understand the game. They are ready to shine.”

However, they will need to get through rival Parma. The Panthers have five key players returning, three of which were named to the All-State roster last year.


2A Classification

Returning All State Players

Hailey Gee, Firth (Senior)

Bayla Tripp, Malad (Senior)

Ella Ward, Malad (Senior)

Cedar Hopkins, Soda Springs (Senior)

Ella De Jong, Nampa Christian (Senior)

Jorianne Ball, Soda Springs (Senior)

Kaydee Park, Firth (Senior)

Classification Outlook

Districts V and VI are loaded with powerhouse teams heading into 2019. The Dragons from Malad are leaning on their own First-Team All-State and Second-Team All-Area setter Bayla Tripp. In 2018, she had more than 1,000 assists as she led her team to the State Championship. Middle Blocker Ella Ward is also back for another season.

Just north of Malad, the Firth Cougars are ready to avenge their State Championship loss. They have won six of the past seven Conference Championships and are gunning for another trophy. Firth shouldn’t have trouble rebuilding its roster, even without Abby Schiess, thanks to explosive, talented players like Hailey Gee and Kiley Mecham. Kaydee Park is another All-State teammate and natural leader. Two more experienced players, Addison Trent and Brooklyn Clayson, will help the Cougars’ chances of making it back to the championship match.

Soda Springs also has a strong core of players returning, with Cedar Hopkins and Jori Ball setting the pace for the offense. Three-year varsity libero Cooper Evans will going to anchor the defense.

Cole Valley has four straight state tournament appearances and also brings back five starters, led by Maddie Cooke and Brooke Weimer.


1A D1 Classification

Returning All State Players

Lindsey Kwate, Troy (Senior)

Kayci Younger, Grace (Senior)

Morgan Blazzard, Troy (Sophomore)

Kenna Hughes, Ambrose (Senior)

Kylee Painter, Grace (Senior)

Cassie George, Notus (Senior)

Kristyna Krough, Prairie (Senior)

Maniah Clegg, Grace (Junior)

Abigail Shaw, Compass (Junior)

Molly Hanson, Genesee (Senior)

Regan Zenner, Genesee (Senior)

Classification Outlook

For decades, the Troy Trojans have dominated 1AD1 play, with 20 consecutive State Tournament appearances, 11 of those ending in a first place finish.

The Trojans are consistently successful in a talented District II field with Genesee and Prairie. Lindsey Kwate will come back as a dominant outside hitter and is joined by Morgan Blazzard, both First-Team All-State players in 2018. Isabelle Rausch will join them as they usher in the 2019 season with confidence.

Ambrose made a great run in the State Tournament out of District III and is ready to repeat. Western Idaho Conference Player of the Year Kenna Hughes will be a dominant senior leader on the court for the Archers as they look to replace three All-Conference players. 

Meanwhile, Grace is playing its best volleyball and bringing back six athletes, as well as their own Player of the Year, Kylee Painter. A strong senior libero, Kayci Younger and defensive specialist Jessica Corder are going to make it difficult for opposing teams to put the ball away.  Outside, they’ll be looking to Maniah Clegg to help round out their experienced offense.

Genesee Head Coach Peter Crowley said his team is going to rely on “hard work, a little bit of luck and great attitudes.”  He is bringing back all six starters for an experienced team as the Bulldogs will battle with Troy for a Conference Title. Molly Hanson and Regan Zenner will be leaders as they hope to fire up their team for the 2019 season.


1A D2 Classification

Returning All State Players

Joanna Hayes, Watersprings (Senior)

Angie Gomez, Watersprings (Senior)

Lotus Harper, Salmon River (Junior)

Ellie Kiebert, Clark Fort (Senior)

Evie Waite, Rockland (Senior)

Rylee Mathison, Watersprings (Senior)

Rosie Meyer, Logos (Junior)

Emily Diaz, Salmon River (Senior)

Classification Outlook

The rebuilding has started for the Mustangs of Horseshoe Bend, as the 2018 State Champions lost five starters and six total seniors, including Long Pin Conference MVP Jade Warren. Head Coach Sharsti Moore said she knows her team is young and understands the rebuilding process can be tumultuous.

“We are basically starting over with a new team, but they are hardworking and ready to compete,” Moore said.

Horseshoe Bend will look to seniors Lana Larson and Brooke Lane as leaders of their young team. 

A couple teams in the DII ranks have rosters full of experience from last year’s State Tournament. Led by Chevelle Shepherd (now playing volleyball and basketball for the College of Idaho) Salmon River was the state runner-up in 2018 and has the potential to come out on top this year.  They have senior leadership from Emily Diaz and Alexis Pottenger. The juniors coming back have key roles as well, with Lotus Harper, Sofie Branstetter and Jordyn Pottenger filling out the roster. This year’s team is the tallest head coach Paula Tucker has ever seen, including 6-foot-1-inch freshman Clara Jentz, who possesses great blocking skills. The Salmon River Savages are primed for a deep postseason run in 2019.

Coming from the southeast, Watersprings hopes to slow down its opponents from the north with Joanna Hayes. The all-around weapon can serve as a setter and attacker, earning her the District V/VI Player of the Year award. Abigail Yandon is back in the middle after an injury last season.  The Warriors are bringing back their spark plug Angie Gomez and Rylee Mathison, both on the All-State roster.  Four more juniors round out their roster to create a strong core. They will go up against Rockland with Charlotte Wilson and Madalyn Dermann.

All the teams in DII are aware of Lighthouse Christian and for good reason. They will vie for another District Championship against consistent teams like Carey and Dietrich. Clark Fork and Logos might be at the opposite end of the state, but will pack a punch this year, each returning a player from the All-State roster.

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