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Idaho Enterprise

Sports

State Volleyball

“They may be tiny, but they are FIERCE!” shared Lady Dragon volleyball Coach Camie Tripp with great pride as she spoke about her team following the 2A Idaho State Volleyball Championship tournament October 28 and 29.  It could be easy to disregard the somewhat smaller MHS team compared to their opponents that demonstrate the typical height and size of a state championship team.  But when the Lady Dragons take to the court and show their grit and determination, they prove just how fierce they truly are.

From the very first match, the Lady Dragons relied on that grit, intensity, fierceness and desire to help them through their tournament games.  Malad’s first matchup was against their district counterpart, the West Side Pirates.  This matchup brought many pros and cons for Malad.  In essence, the Lady Dragons knew exactly what it would take to beat the Pirates, but they also knew just how tough it would be.

The MHS team came out ready to play and took it to the Pirates from the beginning, winning the first set, 25-19.  To no one’s surprise, West Side answered back by stepping up their game and winning the second, 16-25.  With the sets one to one, it was anyone’s game and Malad was there to fight to the end.  The Lady Dragons battled back to win the third game, 25-17.  The fourth game went to the Pirates again, 21-25.

With only one set of the match left to play, the Lady Dragons were determined to win.  Playing such an intense and equally matched team required every player on the MHS volleyball team to step up and give their very best, and step up their did!  Adley Kimberling not only led as the team’s captain and offense as setter, but also led the team in digs with 26, while also adding 3 kills and 7 blocks.  Powerhouse hitter Hallie Horsley brought 23 kills and 22 digs.  Outside hitter Riglee Peterson, with her intensity and consistency, had 3 aces, 13 kills and 22 digs.  

With the Pirates bringing a strong attack, the Lady Dragons depended on their back row to pass up whatever they dished over to set up their own offense. Anistyn Tovey, Brylee Oglesbee, Journie Tovey, and Izzy Haycock worked together to dig up another 50 digs to put a stop to the Pirate’s play.  Middle blockers Camie Bean and Abby Rosenquist covered the net well to direct and bring in 7 and 11 blocks respectively.  This sort of big play not only kept the Lady Dragons in the game, but helped them defeat West Side in their final set, 17-15, and ultimately win the match.

Defeating West Side sent them on to face the undefeated and number one team of the tournament, the Melba Mustangs.  In a game that could have been considered the championship match of the weekend, Malad and Melba went back and forth over a grueling five sets.  Melba jumped out to win the first game of the match, 22-25.  Malad learned from their play and took the second set, 25-19.  The two teams fought long and hard through the third set, with Malad coming out on top, 28-26.  The Mustangs were far from being done and came back to win the final two games, 18-25 and 13-15.  

The Lady Dragons were next paired to play the Lumberjacks of St. Maries.  Despite having already played two intense matches of five games already that day, the MHS volleyball team made quick work of their match against St. Maries, sweeping the games, 3-0.  

Like some odd version of “Groundhog Day,” after their win over St. Maries, Malad was once again set to play West Side for the eighth time this season.  Just as in past games, the two equally matched teams went back and forth leading on the scoreboard, having the momentum and winning games.  

This mentally and physically tough game demanded a lot from the Lady Dragons.  In those moments when their teammates needed an assist, new players stepped in to give some fresh energy.  Coach Tripp was so proud of how her team jumped in wherever they were needed. “Katie Allen helped bring some big blocks against West Side.  Kaitlyn Pickett jumped in there too and added a lot of spirit to the team.  Every one of those girls rose to the occasion.”

Malad won the first set of the match, 25-19.  True to the existing trend, West Side won the second, 20-25.  The victory swung in the Pirate’s favor again in the third game, 25-27.  The Lady Dragons rallied to win the fourth set, 25-23.  The final set was a battle to the bitter end where the Pirates eventually pulled ahead to win, 18-16.  

While it might not have been the ending they were hoping for, Coach Tripp had nothing but praise for her team.  She shared, “Through all the ups and downs of the game, you just could never count us out.  In that last game against West Side, we were down, 2-8.  But they fought and battled back.  Time and time again they bounced back.  We played our very best volleyball of the season at State and that is the best way to end the season.”  

State Cross Country

The final weekend of October marks the final meet for cross country runners across the state as they race in the Idaho State Cross Country Championship meet.   This is the weekend Malad’s racers have been working towards far longer than the few months of the cross country season.  This is the weekend they have kept in mind as they have pushed through injuries and upsets along the way.  This is the weekend the MHS runners have prepared to showcase their very best mental and physical form and leave it all out on the course.

In preparation for this season and ultimately, this race, the MHS team has put their sport and their time at a high priority.  Long before summer started, the team began their training to literally hit the ground running when the season officially began.  As a team, they have logged more than a combined 1,000 miles of running before the season even began.  Head Coach Tia Talbot says about her team and their dedication, “They know what it takes to win and they go out and do it!”

  The 2022 State Cross Country meet was run in Lewiston, Idaho where 71 teams with 863 racers from the myriad of 1A to 5A schools gathered to see who would claim fame and glory for themselves and their team at the conclusion of this season.  Coaches, parents and fans proudly joined the Dragon runners to cheer them on for their final race.

Malad’s racers were up to the challenge and ran their very best races of the season.  The course historically has been fast paced, giving all the runners a better footing for faster times.  On top of the favorable circumstances, the Dragon runners were looking and feeling fresh and ready to race.   “These runners have peaked at just the right time for this race,” shared Coach Talbot.  Every MHS runner set a new personal record or season record as they crossed the finish line of the Lewiston Orchard course. 

Prior to the 2A Women’s race, the coaches reminded their team to encourage each other, work together as a team, and ultimately run their own race.  It was easy to see the team take these words to heart as moved around the course.  As some runners fatigued or dealt with injuries, other racers picked up their pace to move up just a place or two.  Despite anything that might have held the team back, every runner put on the gas and ran flat out.

One racer shared that in the midst of the race, in that moment when exhaustion had started to creep and they felt at their lowest, the thought that fueled her was that “we drove ten hours to compete and we would let nothing get in our way!”  Another shared that there is nothing that beats the feeling of coming across the finish line, seeing their progress from race to race, and especially the friendships they have established over the season.  

Brycen Talbot, the only qualifying member of the MHS Men’s team to race at state, came out strong and held his own all throughout the way.  Talbot medaled in 14th place and set a new personal record.  Three members of the MHS Women’s team earned a place in the Top 20, including senior Cortlyn Coleman in 14th place, Cally Coleman in 16th place, and Brooke Isaacson in 17th place.

After a great race at the conclusion of a great season, Coach Talbot easily summarized, “All I can say is that I am so proud of them.  That really doesn’t seem like enough but they have worked so hard for so long.  They put in what it takes to win and they have proven it over and over.”