No 5A Treasure Valley club has won a state title, or reached the finals, since Rocky Mountain did it all in 2010.
Idaho Falls (34-6, including tournaments) returns as the defending state champ and the favorite after winning its district tournament for the third straight time and finishing second in the prestigious Claim Jumper Tournament in South Jordan, Utah.
Eagle (16-2) took sixth at the same tournament in October. But after an undefeated regular season, the Mustangs dropped two in the district tournament to enter state as District Three’s fourth seed, where they will open with a tough draw against district champion Timberline (16-4).
Centennial (14-5) draws Idaho Falls in the first round on the opposite side of the bracket. And, barring an upset, the winner of Vallivue (14-5) vs. Rocky Mountain (10-10) will take on the defending champs in the second round.
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4A SIC IS 0-FOR-15 AT STATE
Idaho’s 4A classification began in 2000, and since then, no 4A Southern Idaho Conference team has won a state title.
Century has won the past five titles, while Sandpoint owns five. Bonneville (now 5A) has won four times, and Moscow was crowned in 2005.
But Skyview coach Kevin Murphy likes the SIC’s chances this weekend.
Kuna (10-4) draws the unenviable fate of opening against Century (33-6). Middleton (12-4), winner of a state play-in game, takes on Twin Falls in the first round. And Skyview (12-1) opens with Canyon Ridge.
“Our league, this is the strongest, or at least the deepest, it’s been in a long time,” Murphy said.
NEW 3A CHAMP GUARANTEED
Fruitland, the Treasure Valley’s only title winner in 2014, did not qualify for the state tournament. The Grizzlies are the lone reigning champ not defending their state title this weekend.
Weiser (14-9), the 3A Snake River Valley’s fourth-place team in the regular season, ran through the district tournament to take the top seed to state, knocking off regular-season champ Emmett along the way. But the Huskies (14-2) qualified through a state play-in game and, along with Parma, give the conference three representatives at state.
NAMPA CHRISTIAN KEEPS STREAK ALIVE
The Trojans won their fifth straight district title last week to qualify for state for the 18th straight year.
The 2012 state champs finished fourth at last year’s tournament, losing to Firth in five games. The two teams meet in the first round Friday.
GOFF FOLLOWS IN MOM’S FOOTSTEPS AT HORSESHOE BEND
Second-year Mustangs coach Sharsti Goff led Horseshoe Bend to its last state title in 2008 while playing for her mother, Kristin Goff.
She has a chance to add another title to the family mantle with an undefeated team (22-0) and her mother as an assistant.
Since winning the 2008 title, Horseshoe Bend has finished one win shy of a trophy in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2010.
STATE RETURNS TO VALLEY IN 2018
The Treasure Valley has not hosted the state volleyball tournaments since 1991, when Nampa’s Northwest Nazarene hosted the A-1 (now 5A) and A-2 (3A) tournaments.
The Idaho High School Activities Association previously kept volleyball in eastern and northern Idaho because Boise always hosted the boys and girls basketball tournaments, as well as the state track meets.
IHSAA Executive Director Ty Jones said state volleyball tournaments will begin rotating around the state.