Eastern Idaho’s No. 1 source for prep sports

2016 All-Area Volleyball Team

FIRST TEAM

Maya Taylor

Senior outside hitter

Idaho Falls

THE PLAYER: Idaho’s 2015 Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year and two-time Post Register All-Area Player of the Year continued to drop jaws and turn heads in gyms across the state with her resonating kills and powerful arm swings. Taylor accumulated 550 kills, 54 aces, 68 blocks, 41 assists and 366 digs in the last season of her four-year varsity career. The highly recruited senior, who received letters from more than 67 schools (35 Division I), accepted a full-ride scholarship to St. Louis University.

ABOUT TAYLOR: “She’s been blessed with some thick athleticism. Definitely can take over a game when she wants to. It’s a lot harder when the pressure’s on you. She’s a great player and she’s gonna have a great college career.” — Bonneville coach Chantal McMurtrey

Journee Sutton

Senior outside hitter

Madison

THE PLAYER: Sutton was a big reason why Madison returned to the state tournament this fall for the first time since her sophomore season. She was tough to stop when she got on a roll, often nailing down kill after kill to put the Bobcats ahead or keep them in a match, and she was equally valuable on defense. The Salt Lake Community College signee compiled 327 kills, 39 blocks and 310 digs for the 5A state third-place Bobcats.

ABOUT SUTTON: “She has a quick arm. She was a versatile hitter that we had a hard time shutting down.” — Idaho Falls coach Wendy Johnson

Katie Montgomery

Junior middle blocker

Idaho Falls

THE PLAYER: A little more than a year ago, Montgomery and her older sister Maddie were the new kids from Georgia getting acquainted with the system of Idaho’s defending 5A state champion. The gained knowledge and experience made her one of the area’s top middle blockers and resulted in considerable interest from college recruiters. The Southern Utah University commit had 225 kills, 105 blocks, 30 digs, three aces and four assists for the 4A state runners-up.

ABOUT MONTGOMERY: “To her credit, she’s really had to batter down the hatches and learn a lot. Her blocking improved tenfold for us. She was definitely a blocking force. People really had to think about getting around Katie.” — Idaho Falls coach Wendy Johnson

Savanah Crane

Junior middle blocker

Sugar-Salem

THE PLAYER: Sugar-Salem coach Cami Dodson has long described 3A District 6 as Idaho’s toughest 3A district, and the parity kicked it up a notch this fall. Crane was a huge part of helping pave the Diggers’ road to its first district title since 2013 and first state title since 2008, frequently having her turn as lead in kills or blocks in a match. She finished the fall with 193 kills, 32 aces and what is likely an area-best 261 blocks.

ABOUT CRANE: “I really liked her intensity, and her timing with Cami’s daughter (setter Camber Dodson) was really quite phenomenal. They were able to run quick a variety of attacks with her. I liked her enthusiasm and her positive attitude, too.” — Shelley coach Dave Cousin

Kiley McMurtrey

Senior libero

Bonneville

THE PLAYER: After injury plagued freshman and sophomore seasons and switching between setter and libero when needed earlier in her career, McMurtrey had a dream senior season. One of two seniors on Bonneville’s eight-member varsity roster, she anchored a deep defense and filled the highlight reel with spectacular saves to the tune of 506 digs, 64 aces, 80 assists this fall. McMurtrey will continue her career at Eastern Oregon University.

ABOUT MCMURTREY: “The one that I thought held them together was Kiley and her digging. She flat out decided she was gonna own the passing and digging end of it. I would think Kiley would be libero of the year.” — Idaho Falls coach Wendy Johnson

Alexis McMurtrey

Freshman setter

Bonneville

THE PLAYER: One of three freshmen on Bonneville’s eight-member varsity roster, McMurtrey was tasked with taking on a starting role for what coach Chantal McMurtrey described as the most high tempo offense in the state. The quick thinking, competitive setter compiled 1,219 assists, 270 digs, 63 aces (second most for the Bees) in 114 games for the 5A state champions.

ABOUT MCMURTREY: “She has such a quick release on her set, it makes it really difficult to read her. She improved a ton during the season. She could put up a hitable set regardless of the pass. She has a great serve and is an all-around great player.” — Madison coach Meranda Maestas

SECOND TEAM

Makayla Sorensen, freshman outside hitter, Bonneville: Sorensen had a mind-boggling 449 kills, 366 digs, 55 aces and 42 blocks in her varsity debut and drew respect from several area coaches for her smart, consistent play.

Sade Williams, sophomore outside hitter, Bonneville: Williams formed a powerful duo with Sorensen, whom she played in all 118 games with, finishing the fall with 327 kills, 53 aces, 295 digs and 64 blocks.

Madi Day, senior outside hitter, Madison: The Snow College signee created quite the 1-2 punch with fellow senior and college signee Journee Sutton, accumulated 366 kills, 52 blocks and 358 digs for the 5A state third place Bobcats.

Sadie Lott, freshman middle blocker, Bonneville: The extremely athletic freshman, whom Bonneville coach McMurtrey predicts will shatter Bonneville’s all-time blocks record, compiled 304 kills, 62 aces and a team-best 111 blocks for the 5A state champions.

Amanda Rudd, sr. libero, Sugar-Salem: Area coaches said the agile three-sport athlete made defense look easy and was a rock for the 3A state champion Diggers, finishing the fall with 688 digs, 19 aces and 34 kills.

Tausha Cummins, jr. setter, Butte County: One of numerous talented juniors on Butte County’s roster, the 1A Division II District 5-6 Rocky Mountain Conference player of the year was a key cog in the offense for the 25-2 state runners-up.

HONORABLE MENTION

Alexis Thompson, sr. MB, Shelley; Harlee Speth, jr. OH, South Fremont; Conlin Coburn, jr. L, Butte County; Chloe Miller, soph. S., Madison; Michaila Walton, sr. MB, Bonneville; Lexi Garner, soph. MB, Madison; Meg Buxton, jr. OH, Butte County; Addi Gehmlich, sr. RS, Sugar-Salem; Hannah Wilson, jr. RS, Madison; Sadie Brooks, jr. OH, Hillcrest; Abigail Yadon, fr. OH, Watersprings; Tara Chamberlain, sr. OH, Challis; Danni Weaver, jr. L, Madison; Olivia LeCheminant, soph. MB, South Fremont; Madelyn Biddulph, sr. OH, Hillcrest; Camber Dodson, fr. S., Sugar-Salem; Kylee Peets, sr. MB, Salmon; Ashlee Adams, jr. L, Firth

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other subscribers