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2015 All-Area Volleyball Team

First team

Photographer Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com, Date 11/18/2015, Lens 95, ISO 200, FStop {fstop}, Shutter 1/125, Aperature {aperature},

Kaydre Thompson
Idaho Falls senior outside hitter

THE PLAYER: After spending club season playing every position on the front row, Thompson made the switch from middle blocker to outside hitter for the fall and turned plenty of heads around the state. The senior embraced the switch, finishing the season with 462 kills, 81 blocks, 301 digs, seven assists and 54 aces and forming a powerful 1-2 punch with fellow outside hitter Maya Taylor.

ABOUT THOMPSON: “She had the ability to take over a match. She didn’t back down. She could bring it. Man, she could hit that sharp angle as hard as we’ve seen.” — Bonneville coach Chantal McMurtrey.

Michelle Pratt cross country Haylie Keck Volleyball , Camera NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D3S, Lens 120, Aperture 9, Shutter 1/125, ISO 200,

Haylie Keck
Bonneville senior outside hitter

THE PLAYER: A four-year starter, Keck was a huge reason why the Bees made it back to state after a year hiatus. After years of closing in on history, the Idaho State signee surpassed Mailie Garner as Bonneville’s all-time leader in kills (1,844, including 582 this season) and aces (269, including 76 this season) and is third all-time in digs behind Kylee Giles and Mackenzie Johnson (1,338, including 355 this season).

ABOUT KECK: “We played them three times this year. We had a difficult time stopping her. She was quick and had a quick arm swing. They ran a lot of plays with her.” — Shelley coach Dave Cousin.

AlexisThompsonVballAlexis Thompson
Shelley junior middle blocker

THE PLAYER: The youngest but tallest player on Shelley’s senior-laden roster, the heavily recruited Thompson continued to impress coaches around the district and the state. A 6-foot-3 Idaho State commit, Thompson ended the fall with 109 blocks, 10 assists, 40 aces, 51 digs and 387 kills to help lead the Russets to their third 3A District 6 title in four seasons, an area best 33-4 overall record and their first 3A state championship since 2004.

ABOUT THOMPSON: “I think she did better this year than last year. We had to change our angle of defense. She also does fantastic at tipping. My girls had to prepare for a hard driven hit, but they also had to prepare for that tip.” — Sugar-Salem coach Cami Dodson.

MichailaWaltonVballMichaila Walton
Bonneville junior middle blocker

THE PLAYER: Walton came into her own in her second varsity season despite being briefly sidelined to injury in late September and battling the flu at the 5A state tournament. By late October, the 5-foot-9 junior was a force to be reckoned with, particularly against repeat state champion Idaho Falls in both the district and state tournaments, and finished the season with 105 kills and 54 blocks.

ABOUT WALTON: “For her to be the blocker she is at the height she is at … I truly appreciate Walton’s work ethic. She has the best technique, she’s got fabulous footwork. She’s one of the best blockers I’ve ever seen.” — Idaho Falls coach Wendy Johnson.

ChaiseDodsonVballChaise Dodson
Sugar-Salem senior setter

THE PLAYER: One of two four-year starters and five seniors for Sugar-Salem, Dodson received praise from coaches of various classifications for her multiple strengths ranging from solid blocking and consistent serving to strong hitting and great hands. The 3A Mountain Rivers Conference Co-Player of the Year finished with 42 aces, 235 kills, 86 blocks, 904 assists and 388 digs for the 30-14, state runner-up Diggers.

ABOUT DODSON: “In the past two years alone, we’ve played her 12 times. The hardest part is she’s really good with her hands. If she’s in the right spot, reading her is really difficult.” — Shelley coach Dave Cousin.

MadisonJohnsonVballMadison Johnson
Idaho Falls senior libero

THE PLAYER: Known to her teammates as “MJ,” Johnson helped set the standard for liberos in the area in her second year on varsity for I.F. A two-time 5A/4A High Country Conference first-team selection, she accumulated 433 digs, 54 aces, 10 assists and plenty of highlight reel worthy saves in her senior season for the repeat state champs.

ABOUT JOHNSON: “I actually have known Maddie since she was born. I think she did awesome. Defensively, she reads the ball really, really well. She’s a good kid. A nice, outstanding person.” — Madison coach Meranda Maestas.

Second team

Brooke Wright, Shelley senior outside hitter:Despite being sidelined to injury for 10 days in September, the 3A Mountain Rivers Conference Co-Player of the Year finished the season with 50 aces, 10 assists, 19 blocks, 219 digs and 251 kills for the 3A state champions.

Journee Sutton, Madison junior outside hitter: Sutton became a go-to offensive force for a young Madison team that had two seniors on its varsity roster, hitting her stride during the Bobcats’ district tournament run.

Kylie Peets, Salmon junior middle blocker: Peets compiled 207 kills (team best), 130 blocks, 238 digs, 39 aces and 10 assists and formed an impressive blocking tandem with Ellie Garrett in Salmon’s run to its first district title and state tournament appearance since 1990.

Katie Montgomery, Idaho Falls sophomore middle blocker: A 6-foot-2 transfer from Lakeview Academy (Ga.), Montgomery had 190 kills, 86 blocks, 36 digs, 13 aces and two assists in her first season with the state champion Tigers.

Maddy Reeb, Idaho Falls junior setter: The Portland State commit expanded her game this year for the repeat state champion Tigers, ending the season with 1,162 assists, 240 digs, 113 kills, 78 blocks and 48 aces.

Abby Allen, Sugar-Salem senior libero: A four-year starter with an uncanny ability to read the ball, Allen finished the season with 606 digs and 35 aces for the 3A state runner-up Diggers.

Honorable mention

Danni Weaver, Madison sophomore libero; Sam Waite, Shelley senior outside hitter; Halle Hess, Bonneville senior outside hitter; Bailee Burgess, Salmon senior setter; Hannah Hanson, Shelley senior defensive specialist; Alissa Wilson, Madison junior middle blocker; Sally Taylor, Firth junior outside hitter; McKell Morrison, Idaho Falls junior right side hitter; Maddie Biddulph, Hillcrest junior middle blocker; Kallie Brown, Shelley senior setter; Conlin Coburn, Butte County sophomore libero; Kiley McMurtrey, Bonneville junior setter/libero

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