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2016 All-Area Volleyball Coach of the Year: Chantal McMurtrey, Bonneville

The two attributes about the 2016 Bonneville High School volleyball team that drew the most conversation from area coaches were their youth and their power.

The Bees had an eight-member varsity roster — small by 5A standards — consisting of two seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen. Height-wise, they topped out at 5-foot-10 (Michaila Walton) and 5-foot-11 (Rachel Pymm). Despite their youth and having only two substitutes, Bonneville made it work and ran the table.

They extended plays that opposing teams thought were over. Their balanced hitting made it difficult to single out one player to defend, and their passing and serving were top notch.

Coach Chantal McMurtrey often said her freshmen played beyond their years, having been part of much success in club and middle school programs, and that experience showed this fall.

The Bees won their first Bonneville-Hillcrest Classic title, district title and state title since 2009 and ended the season 37-5 overall. Perhaps the most impressive part of their resume, however, is that they went undefeated against Idaho teams.

These accomplishments landed McMurtrey her third state title as Bonneville’s head coach and the Post Register’s All-Area Volleyball Coach of the Year honor.

Madison head coach Meranda Maestas, a senior on the 2007 Bonneville state championship team, saw the Bees more than any other team did this fall. Bonneville and Madison met six times, including the 5A state semifinals, and Maestas was not short of superlatives to describe this year’s Bees.

“I think it was after districts, I texted Chantal and said I’ve been around Bonneville volleyball for a long time and I told her this is the best Bonneville team I’ve ever seen,” Maestas said.

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