MURTAUGH — Top-seeded Oakley and No. 2 Shoshone moved on to the district title match with wins Saturday, the first day of the Snake River Conference volleyball tournament.
Oakley defeated No. 4 Valley 25-17, 25-23, 25-13 and Shoshone beat No. 3 Hagerman 25-11, 25-18, 25-18. Valley earned at shot at Oakley by virtue of beating No. 5 Glenns Ferry in the first round, and Hagerman shut out No. 6 Raft River for the chance to advance to the match with Shoshone.
Oakley and Shoshone will meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Also that day, Glenns Ferry and Hagerman face off at 4 p.m., and Valley will try to bounce back against Raft River at 5:30 p.m.
Oakley 3, Valley 0
Oakley coach Sherri Powell felt the Hornets started out slow in their match against Valley.
“And Valley played really well,” said Powell.
The Vikings had their opportunities in each set of the match but missed on some key timing that let the Hornets off the hook.
“We have to figure out how to finish,” Valley coach Katie Clark said.
Oakley was led by seniors Rachael Mitton with a team-high 13 kills and Makinlee Cranney with 10 kills and four blocks. Setter Blakely Payton passed out 28 assists.
Shoshone 3, Hagerman 0
The Indians have no big, dominating hitter like many teams, but even their shorter hitters, like senior Monce Rivas, are capable of putting the ball down hard with power with the best of them.
“Monce loves the game and works very hard on her hitting. She just has the desire to be a good hitter,” said Shoshone coach Melisa Martin. ”The key that makes our offense click is our passing. The setters get to the passes and get the ball to our hitters. Our defense believes they can get to every ball and not let any hit the floor.”
Rivas finished with a game-high 14 kills, followed by fellow senior Allysen Huyser with nine. Setters Bailee Owens and Patti Fitzgerald totaled 20 assists.
“We just need to focus and play better to our strength of attacking the ball,” said Hagerman coach Katie Knight.
Tristyn Hulme finished with five kills, while fellow seniors Brenna Firth and Aubri Achabal each had four. Setter Alana Floyd contributed 14 assists.
For the Pirates defense, Elly Yore and Achabal each had two blocks, and Firth and Kyta Sellers had 21 digs each.
Valley 3, Glenns Ferry 1
The Vikings lost the opening set 26-24 to the Pilots but got their hitting game back in time to win the last three sets, 25-19, 25-16, 25-22.
“We are geling as a team and starting to figure things out,” said Valley coach Katie Clark.
Gone is the Vikings’ senior-laden roster of a year ago and Clark now has one senior, three juniors and five freshman that make up the Vikings team.
Glenns Ferry seniors Sage Wooten slammed 15 kills and nine digs, Hannah Hedelius had four digs and three assists and Taylor McKean ended with three digs and six assists.
“We (April Wootan and Stacy Dickson) started out as new coaches this year,” said Wootan. “We didn’t necessarily have a great season according to the scoreboard, but it was a good season as individuals and improvement as a team. We had a good Thursday night match with Castleford before districts.”
Hagerman 3, Raft River 0
Hulme led the Pirates with 10 kills, Yore followed with seven kills and two blocks and Floyd had 24 assists in the 25-19, 25-17, 25-17 win over the Trojans.
Raft River coach Branden Severe was happy with his team’s play even in the loss.
“We were happy to compete,” he said. “We felt that we came out against Hagerman and played as a team. The first two sets we played more our game. We are all working hard to turn around our program. Even in the loss, I felt like we worked well and the girls all tried their best.”