TWIN FALLS — Winning isn’t boring to the Twin Falls High School volleyball team. If it was, the Bruins wouldn’t be in the midst of two dominant streaks.
Twin Falls (34-6) hosted Burley Thursday night for the Great Basin Conference championship. The Bobcats took the Bruins to five sets the last time they played at Twin Falls High School, but Thursday’s match wasn’t nearly as close. The Bruins won 25-18, 25-18, 25-14 to win their ninth straight district title.
“The seniors who have been here for four years, we all agree that this was the sweetest one,” Twin Falls senior libero Kylie Baumert said. “We put the most effort into this one. For it to turn out how it did, we could not ask for anything else.”
The nine straight district championships don’t fully explain Twin Falls’ dominance since it joined the GBC in 2009. In the nine seasons since then, the Bruins have gone 132-0 against conference opponents, according to head coach B.J. Price and Twin Falls’ MaxPreps.com records.
The seniors on this year’s Twin Falls team have been around for nearly half of those 132 wins and now four of the district titles. The Bruins rolled through this year’s district tournament and were never in jeopardy on Thursday. Burley hung tough in the first two sets, but Twin Falls pulled away both times.
“The first time they played us when they took us to five sets, we didn’t have a lot of confidence in ourselves, and we weren’t communicating as much as we should’ve been,” Twin Falls senior middle hitter Carly Gandolfo said. “That’s one thing we changed, and we included communication a lot, and we celebrate every point like crazy. Everyone’s a lot more happy now.”
Seniors Kennedi Evans and Tori Edwards led the Bruins’ attack with 15 and 14 kills, respectively. Edwards added seven digs, as did fellow senior Whitney Solosobal, who had nine kills.
Junior Taylor Burnham led Twin Falls with 14 digs, and Baumert had 12 digs and two aces. Junior Shelby Veenstra had 42 assists.
Burley clinched a trip to state right before the district title match with a sweep of rival Minico, 25-22, 25-12, 25-15. In the match, Kennedee Tracy had 13 kills and 13 digs, Makayla Tolman had nine kills and three blocks, Ashley Shirley had six kills and three aces, Alex Hutchinson had 15 digs and Jayli Searle dished out 37 assists.
Twin Falls hasn’t won a state volleyball title in its history. This year’s team hopes to end that drought starting next Friday, Oct. 27. The Bruins will face Middleton, the No. 2 seed out of District 3, in the first round.
“We expect to play well and we expect to dominate because we want nothing less,” Baumert said. “We’ve worked for it.”
Burley will face defending state champion Skyview, District 3’s top seed, in the opening round.