Filer's tenacity leads to first state championship since 1997

MERIDIAN, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) It's hard to believe that Filer Volleyball had a losing season in 2017. But in her third year of coaching, Tanya Beard has made a miraculous turnaround with this group. The team barely lost a game this season and won the district championship for the first time since 2013.

Now we're discussing a potential state championship, which hasn't happened since the Wildcats were a 2A team in 1997.

Filer, the only District IV team left in contention for a title. The Wildcats smoked the competition on Friday, sweeping Timberlake and beating Homedale in four sets.

Standing in their way in Saturday morning's semi–final, Sugar–Salem.
The Diggers are the two–time defending state champion and looked every bit so early on in the match. Whether it was timely blocking or exposing holes in the Filer defense.

The Wildcats who played tough in the first set, quickly found themselves down two sets to none. But that's when Coach Beard game the team some advice.

"The seniors were like this is it, and I was like I only have two more years left.," explained sophomore hitter Ella Fischer. "Tanya said we have to play our game and that's what we did, so."

You saw a major change in the girls' play in the third set. The teams were neck and neck down the stretch, exchanging points. Sugar's Camber Dodson found Katie Miller on the outside who delivered the point that tied up the game. Filer ending up prevailing 25–23.

Then the Diggers hung with the Wildcats early on in the fourth set, but Filer pulled away, credit Abee Bandy and Kori Gartner for being there for the block. The Wildcats won again, 25–17.

With the fifth and final set, a win meant a guaranteed spot in the state championship, But losing would put either team in the consolation bracket and have to beat Homedale to play for a championship.

Filer had all the momentum from winning the last two sets. They used it to their full advantage winning 16–14.

Filer ended up winning the state championship Saturday afternoon, a feat no one this millennium has accomplished for the wildcats.

Ella Fischer had 16 kills in the semi–final, followed by 23 in the championship match. She's just a sophomore.

Senior middle blocker Jaylee Bingham said, "our team is absolutely outstanding, we play together, we all get along. It's a blast to be with them." "And then my coaches Tanya and Lexi are the best people I've ever had in my life, not only are they my coaches, but they're my best friends."

1A DI VOLLEYBALL: Shoshone fell to Grace 3-2, to finish in fourth place.

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