For the third time in the last five years, Sugar-Salem volleyball stood atop the 3A state podium Saturday after beating Fruitland in three sets in the state finals.
Before the Lady Diggers could face off with Fruitland, however, they had to face a familiar foe. Sugar played Filer in the state semifinals after losing to them in the state final last season.
Sugar beat Filer in four sets winning 25-17; 25-13; 17-25; 27-25.
“We came out super strong in the first two sets,” Dodson said. “In the third set, Filer battled back and got us. The fourth set was an absolute battle from start to finish and we ended up winning that one 26-24.”
After losing last year, beating Filer was a sweet victory.
“Tthat was a lot of the drive of my girls,” Dodson said. “They did not want history to replay itself. They wanted to write a new ending. I really feel like that propelled them to come out strong and to work through good things and bad things and to force that win.”
In the title game, the Lady Diggers played even stronger winning 25-15; 25-19; 25-13.
“It was the best I’ve ever seen my team play,” Dodson said. “Literally, from start to finish they controlled the court, the passing was on point, the hitting was great, the block was up, our serving was great. It was one of those fairy tale endings where everything absolutely came together. The whole team combined together to be explosive and dynamic. It was truly the best type of ending we could have had.”
Sugar has now won the 3A state title three out of the last five years and had played in the title for five straight years.
“The girls know how to work and they know how to go after their goals,” Dodson said. “We feel like our program’s in a really great place right now and we love to see the girls expect it but then rise to it. We have a saying, ‘tradition never graduates,’ and they take that to heart. They want carry that title, they want to carry that honor of being one of the greats in the state so they work for it in the offseason.”