EPHRAIM, Utah — No player on the 2017 College of Southern Idaho volleyball roster had experienced a Region 18 title going into Saturday. Now, they all have.
The fifth-ranked Golden Eagles (28-3) swept Region 18 tournament host Snow College 26-24, 25-18, 25-23 on Saturday to earn their first conference title since 2015 and their third in four years.
“Our sophomores from last year, being in this situation losing the title match, they were not gonna feel that again,” CSI coach Heidi Cartisser told the Times-News over the phone. “It definitely fueled their fire.”
CSI’s only three losses this season came to Miami-Dade, the No. 1-ranked team in NJCAA Division I, and twice to Scenic West Athletic Conference rival Salt Lake CC. The Golden Eagles’ next toughest opponent was Snow, which they beat in five sets both times they met in the regular season.
The Badgers competed with CSI again on Saturday, but they couldn’t grab a set this time.
“I really felt like they stuck to the gameplan and followed through,” Cartisser said. “We definitely got better in practice, and we definitely built off that in the last two matches.”
Airi Miyabi led CSI with 16 kills and seven digs to cap a stellar weekend. She was named the Region 18 tournament MVP.
Shiloh Peleras had 11 kills and four blocks, Morgan Weatherwax had 26 assists and six digs and Jojo Kruize added 11 digs. Peleras and Weatherwax were both named to the all-tournament team.
CSI now heads to Hutchinson, Kan., for the NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship, which runs from Nov. 16-18. It’s been a couple years since the Golden Eagles competed for a national title, but Cartisser doesn’t expect last year’s break to pose a problem.
“This team has all the talent to get it done,” she said. “This region tournament is just boosting us up and giving us that confidence we need.”