POST FALLS — When the final block had been made by Lake City on match point, the Timberwolf players fell to the floor.
Take your pick.
Lake City survived a grueling 10-hour day of volleyball on Friday, winning two of three matches and guaranteeing themselves a trophy from the state 5A volleyball tournament at The Arena.
Lake City beat Eagle 25-20, 25-17, 18-25, 25-14, then lost to Thunder Ridge of Idaho Falls 23-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-19, then came back roughly a half-hour later to outlast Timberline of Boise 26-24, 25-23, 21-25, 24-26, 15-9.
“That was an epically long day of volleyball,” Lake City coach Mike Summers said. “But I’m glad we get to come back and play tomorrow. That last set was about playing as a family, playing together, playing with energy. Kinda put it all together against a really good team. I’m happy for the girls; they came back focused, especially in that fifth set. Really proud of how they finished the day, and so excited we get to play again tomorrow.”
Lake City (22-13), the No. 2 seed from Region 1, will play Skyview (18-3) of Nampa today at 9 a.m., with the loser fourth, and the winner needing one more victory to advance to the championship round.
Coeur d’Alene, the Region 1 champion, started strong with a 16-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-27, 15-7 victory over Timberline. The Vikings then lost to defending state champion Madison (29-13) of Rexburg in the second round 28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23. That seemed to take a lot out of Coeur d’Alene, which had to turn around and face Skyview, and fell 25-13, 25-12, 25-20.
“We battled, and we did some good things, but it’s obviously a disappointment,” Coeur d’Alene coach Carly Curtis said. “We came here to win it all, but things didn’t go our way here and there. And we got into this last match, and I think we gave it all against Madison and Timberline, two great teams. We had two really good battles today, and it didn’t look like us at the end. It’s disappointing for our seniors, and disappointing for everybody, because they work so hard all year. Hopefully we take this to heart, and never let it happen again.”
Lake City: Janae Rayborn had 15 kills, 14 digs and four aces for Lake City vs. Timberline (14-5), which had beaten Lake City twice this season, at tournaments. Kate DuCoeur added 14 kills, Brenna Hawkins four blocks, Tanai Jenkins three blocks, Ella Hosfelt 24 assists and three aces, Nellie Reese 22 assists, Jaya Miller 25 digs, Kiki Cates 16 digs.
“Oh, my gosh, that day of volleyball was crazy,” said Hawkins, a junior middle blocker. “Super exciting. Super fun to go out with my teammates and finally beat Timberline. It was definitely our energy on the court; we just felt so unstoppable, it was amazing. We came out so ready to play, and had such great energy.”
Lake City played well in the first set against Thunder Ridge, but the Titans, a second-year school, wore down the T-Wolves with a nice hitting attack and a tough block.
“We stopped moving our feet, and passing the ball,” Summers said. “And we got out of system, and started playing tentative and scared.”
Rayborn had 12 kills and 11 digs for Lake City. Miller had 16 assists, Hanah Stoddard 21 assists, Reese 10, Hawkins and Jenkins two blocks apiece.
In the first round, Lake City defeated Eagle, avenging a loss to the Mustangs when they traveled north earlier in the season and played the Timberwolves on a Saturday morning at Lake City.
Rayborn had 15 kills for Lake City. Hawkins had seven blocks, Jenkins six. Stoddard, back in the setting rotation following an ankle injury earlier in the season, had 19 assists, and Reese had 16 assists. Miller had 19 digs, Cates two aces.
“That was the hardest we’ve ever played,” Cates said. “That was a real high-intensity match. We had so much energy that it pushed us to finish. We were all getting super excited to play Eagle, because we lost to them before.”
Coeur d’Alene: In the first round, Coeur d’Alene won a see-saw match with Timberline. Coeur d’Alene led 24-19 in the fourth set before Timberline rallied to win 27-25.
The Vikings took control early in the fifth set.
Taylin Rowley, whose move from setter to outside hitter at midseason added to the Vikings’ offensive punch, had 17 kills, 16 digs and six aces. Sarah Wilkey added 13 kills and 18 digs, Elly Schraeder 13 kills and three blocks, Phillips 26 assists, Courtney Garwood 18 assists.
The Madison match was tight all the way, with the Vikings coming up just short.
Rowley finished with 13 kills, Lili Hare 11 kills and three blocks, Schraeder 10 kills and five blocks.Maggie Bloom had 13 digs, Olivia Dixon 12.
Against Skyview, Schraeder had eight kills and three blocks, Phillips 10 assists and four kills, Garwood eight assists, Bloom seven digs, Rowley six digs.
“I see everyone crying, and I cannot pick up the emotion of crying,” said Schraeder, a middle blocker who has committed to University of San Diego. “It’s sad, but honestly it’s the best team I’ve ever played with, and I think we accomplished so much and proved so much about ourselves, and what kind of people we are individually. I think it was just a great accomplishment, the whole season.
The Vikings (24-7) lose three key seniors in Schraeder, Rowley and Hare, but bring back a lot of talent from a team that won their first regional title since 2015.
“We talked to them about, ‘Fuel the fire,’” Curtis said. “Let this be something that takes you into the offseason, and makes you work even harder, so you don’t feel like this again.”
“I can just see in the next couple of years, these girls are going to lead us to bigger (things),” Schraeder said. “This is just the start.”
All four teams from District 3 (Boise area) lost in the first round, including district champion Skyview, upended in four sets by play-in match winner Thunder Ridge of Idaho Falls.
Madison and Thunder Ridge will play in the semifinal match today at 11 a.m. for a spot in the championship match at 4 p.m.
“I just think this year, of the eight teams, anyone can win it; there’s not really one dominant team,” Summers said. “So every team has a good opportunity, so I think it’s just whichever team shows up and is disciplined enough to play well.”