Madison's volleyball gathers around their third-place trophy for a photo.

Madison’s volleyball gathers around their third-place trophy for a photo.

Four the fourth time in as many years, Madison’s volleyball left the state tournament with a trophy. After winning it all last year, the rigors of the state tournament got to the Lady Bobcats this year and they lost their final to games to take third.

Madison beat Boise 25-23; 23-25; 25-21; 20-25; 15-7 in their first game of the tournament Friday.

“We’d heard that they were a pretty good team and we went five with them and it was close games all the way through,” said Madison head coach Meranda Maestas. “We were able to pull it out in the fifth set. We were pretty happy about that.”

Boise put up a fight with a tough block.

“They had a huge block, probably the best block that we had gone up against this year,” Maestas said. “We got blocked quite a bit and then in the fifth set figured out how to start swinging around it.”

In the second round, Madison beat Coeur d’Alene 28-26; 25-22; 25-27; 25-23.

“They were a pretty good team also,” Maestas said. “Both of those teams we hadn’t seen all year. So it was a little nerve-wracking going in not knowing much about either of those teams. They had a middle who was really good and we’d watched her play a little bit earlier that day. So, we figured if we could figure out how to shut her down we could get them. “

In the semifinals Saturday, Madison fell 25-17; 25-27; 25-21; 22-25; 8-15 to district rival Thunder Ridge after beating the Titans in 10/12 sets earlier this season.

“We started out playing really well,” Maestas said. “We kind of had a lot of ups and downs that game and Thunder just came to play. They played the best game that I’ve seen them play this year. They also started blocking really well and we couldn’t figure out a way around the block. We didn’t play great defense.”

Thunder’s offense looked a little different as well.

“They started using other hitters than the one we had worked really hard on shutting down,” Maestas said. “They just had other girls who kind of came alive this weekend and they were hard to stop.”

Madison would have gotten another chance at Thunder Ridge but they were spent when they played Skyview about 20 minutes later and fell 18-25; 14-25; 20-25 to Skyview who fell to Thunder Ridge in the final.

Madison also brought home the sportmanship award, which Maestas said says a lot about the typ[e of girls that our on Madison’s volleyball team.

Madison has taken third each of the last four years except for last year when they won the state title. Before the last four years, Madison had only won three volleyball trophies in 20 years.

“(Third place is) definitely not what we were planning on,” Maestas said. “It’s not what we were going for. We kind of talked about that as coaches on the bus on the way home about how disappointed we were but at the same time, third place is still really good. Most teams don’t get to go to state. We’re thankful that we were able to go and compete and bring home a trophy.”