BUHL — Fresh off a four set win over the Jerome Tigers on Tuesday, the Buhl Indians returned home to open Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference play against the rival Senators. The Indians found there is no place like home as they powered past Gooding in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-19) on Thursday.

“I told the girls to keep going at it and build on what was going right,” said Buhl coach Denny Moretto. “And to work on playing out of the system. Our serving wasn’t bad but we do need to clean up our defense.”

The Indians used a balanced offense effort led by nine kills each from junior Sage Eckert and sophomore Kylie Crossland. Sophomore McKenna Lively finished second on the team with seven kills. Senior setter McKenna Brinkman dished out 25 assists and Crossland had a team-high 28 digs.

“We keep pumped up as long as we are talking LOUD,” said Buhl senior Alyssa Gorrell. “Óur practices are important because we work hard on fixing our mistakes so when we come into matches, we have more confidence. One of my main responsibilities as a senior is watching and helping the younger players and keep them going no matter what the mood.”

As good as the night was for Buhl, it was just the opposite for Gooding which was having to make adjustments after their four-year setter, Brittany Brinkley injured her knee on Wednesday against Shoshone.

“We knew we had to still be ready,” said Gooding coach Tricia Adkinson.”We were adjusting our defense taking care of their line shots and then they adjusted.”

Because Adkinson isn’t sure of how long Brinkley may be out Gooding may have to change their offense.

“We have come so far since last year but it looks like now we will have to work on a 5-1.”

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Brinkley unfortunately is having to do what no starter or player ever has to do, sit and watch her team from the bench. But that doesn’t mean she can’t offer her support.

“I have to keep encouraging them and keep them positive, said Brinkley. “This team, no matter if they get down, they never stop trying. I have a lot of faith in this team. Since this is our second year with Coach Adkinson, we all know each other better which has helped us a lot.”

Senior Bailey Price led the Senators with seven kills followed by sophomore Grace Parker with six kills and four blocks. Junior Callie Graves passed for 27 assists and sophomore riley Comstock had 22 digs.

Buhl (2-2, 1-0) hosts Filer on Tuesday and Gooding (2-1, 0-1) is at Wendell on Thursday.


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