Match point ended up being the longest rally of the night, but from the Rocky Mountain High volleyball team’s perspective, it was more than worth the wait.
After a minute-long back-and-forth series, Rocky Mountain junior outside hitter Hannah Belveal put down the final kill of the night, ricocheting her hit off the block and out of bounds for a 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-13 victory over defending champ Timberline in the 5A District Three Tournament championship match Thursday at Rocky Mountain.
It was the third district championship in program history, adding to victories in 2010 and 2011.
“Our team has talked a lot recently about just having a desire to win and a desire to work hard together as a team,” Rocky senior setter Shannan Cambron said. “We’ve just realized that if we have a ton of belief, we can achieve anything we want.”
Since a loss to first-place Timberline on Sept. 27, it has been smooth sailing for the Grizzlies, who have rattled off eight straight wins.
“Error recovery is so crucial, because volleyball is full of errors. Everybody is going to make an error,” Rocky Mountain coach Judyann Balukoff said. “They just had to keep coming back and be aggressive and not be afraid.”
Rocky Mountain (15-1) turns its attention to the state tournament, where the Grizzlies will be the league’s No. 1 seed when play begins Oct. 28 at Skyline High in Idaho Falls. Rocky Mountain, which opens against eastern runner-up Madison (25-14), was the last Treasure Valley team to win in the 5A classification, sweeping Idaho Falls for the title in 2010.
“We’ve got all the tools we need,” Cambron said. “We’ve just got to come out even stronger.”
Timberline (17-2), Boise (14-5) and Mountain View (11-8) also qualify for state, and Centennial (9-10) can advance with a victory in Saturday’s play-in game.
SKYVIEW WINS SIXTH TITLE IN A ROW
Skyview swept Bishop Kelly 25-19, 25-15, 25-14 to win the 4A District Three championship for the 11th time in 13 seasons. The Hawks (17-0) and Knights (14-5) qualify for the Oct. 28-29 state tournament at Hillcrest High in Idaho Falls.
Dani Nay led all hitters with 15 kills, and Olivia Bradley and Whitney Bower each added eight kills for the Hawks.