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Volleyball - Burley Vs. Twin Falls

Twin Falls’ Kennedi Evans and Taylor Burnham go up for the block against Burley during conference play Wednesday night, Sept. 27, 2017, at Twin Falls High School.

The Idaho high school state volleyball tournaments begin on Friday morning and conclude on Saturday. Below are the previews for all seven District 4 teams competing for a trophy this weekend.

Twin Falls Bruins

2017 record: 34-6 (4A District 4 top seed)

Previous state appearance: 2016

First-round opponent: Middleton

The Bruins have reached the 4A state tournament every year since they joined the classification in 2009, but they’ve yet to win a state title. They’ve yet to reach a title game, in fact. But Twin Falls has inched closer the last two seasons, which both ended with third-place trophies. Those have been their best results since their move to 4A.

On Friday, the Bruins will open the tournament against Middleton (14-3), the second seed out of District 3. They swept the Vikings to open the first round of last year’s state tournament. Twin Falls will either advance to the semifinals or face elimination after Friday’s action.

Burley Bobcats

2017 record: Uncertain (4A District 4 second seed)

Previous state appearance: 2016

First-round opponent: Skyview

After years of state-less seasons, the Bobcats have reached back-to-back 4A state tournaments. Last year, Burley faced eventual champion Skyview in the opening round and got swept. They face the Hawks (17-0), District 3’s top seed, again on Friday.

Burley’s 2016 tournament run included a win following the Skyview sweep, but it ended in a sweep to Twin Falls, which hasn’t lost to a Great Basin Conference team since 2007. The Bobcats came close to ending that streak this season, but they lost to the Bruins in five sets, then got swept in the district title match.

Kimberly Bulldogs

2017 record: 15-1 (3A District 4 top seed)

Previous state appearance: 2015

First-round opponent: Timberlake

The Bulldogs opened the season with a loss to Shelley, a nonconference 3A team. They haven’t lost since.

The last time Kimberly reached the 3A state tournament, Shelley won the title. But the Bulldogs didn’t face the Russets in 2015. They lost to Emmett, beat Parma and lost to Sugar-Salem.

Kimberly faces the No. 2 seed out of District 1, Timberlake (16-18), on Friday to open this year’s tournament, looking to reach the winner’s bracket for the first time since 2014.

Oakley Hornets

2017 record: 17-1 (1A Division I District 4 top seed)

Previous state appearance: 2015

First-round opponent: Ambrose

Other than an early season loss to 4A Wood River, the Hornets were perfect this season. They’ll get a chance to continue that streak on Friday, when they open the tournament against Ambrose, the second seed out of District 3.

Oakley expects and hopes to perform better than it did during its last two state tournaments. The Hornets went two-and-out in 2014 and 1-2 in 2015.

Volleyball - Dist. IV 1A-D1 Shoshone Vs. Oakley

Oakley’s Blakely Payton (1) and Makinlee Cranney (4) put the ball over the net against Shoshone during the North Side Conference title match Tuesday night, Oct. 17, 2017, at Murtaugh High School.

Shoshone Indians

2017 record: Uncertain (1A Division I District 4 second seed)

Previous state appearance: 2010

First-round opponent: Horseshoe Bend

Unlike the other District 4 teams at this year’s state tournament, the Indians have no state experience this decade. They finally got back after a strong 2017 campaign.

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The last time Shoshone competed in the 1A-DI state tournament, the bracket was set up differently. In 2010, the Indians lost to Genesse in the first round, which ended their chances of a state title or even a third-place finish. The current setup allows a team that loses early to win out and earn a top-three trophy.

Shoshone swept Horseshoe Bend in 2010 for the consolation title. The Indians and Mustangs, the top seed out of District 3, meet again Friday, this time in the first round.

Lighthouse Christian Lions

2017 record: 19-0 (1A Division II District 4 top seed)

Previous state appearance: 2016

First-round opponent: Council

So far this season, the Lions have defended their 1A-DI state championship flawlessly. They beat everyone on their schedule and only went to five sets twice (against North Side Conference opponent Carey and 3A Filer).

Volleyball - Dietrich Vs. LHC

Dietrich’s Cassandra Berthelson bumps the ball Tuesday night, Aug. 29, 2017, at Lighthouse Christian in Twin Falls.

The first step toward Lighthouse’s fifth 1A-DII title in six seasons is Council, the No. 2 seed out of District 3.

Dietrich Blue Devils

2017 record: 13-5 (1A Division II District 4 second seed)

Previous state appearance: 2016

First-round opponent: Salmon River

Few teams have given Lighthouse more trouble this decade than the Blue Devils, but they didn’t even get a shot at the Lions in last year’s 1A-DII state tournament. After a first-round win over Kootnenai, Dietrich lost to Butte County, beat Salmon River and lost to Watersprings.

The Devils face Salmon River again on Friday to open this year’s tournament. If they win their first two matches, they’ll likely face Lighthouse in the quarterfinals. Dietrich won its first set against the Lions this season, then lost its next six.

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