College of Idaho senior Ciciley Fox has known nothing different.
The outside hitter from Challis finished with 10 kills on senior night, helping lead the Coyote volleyball team to a 25-15, 25-12, 25-11 rout of Warner Pacific in Cascade Conference play.
With the win, the Yotes wrapped up a perfect home slate, their 18th straight victory and clinched no worse than a share of their sixth straight regular-season league title.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Fox said, now a four-time league champion.
“Feels great,” C of I coach Liz Mendiola added. “This definitely is a great team to be around. I enjoy working with them day in and day out and it’s great to know that we’ve accomplished that so far.”
Next up for the Yotes is the chance to win the outright league title and the right to host the postseason tournament. The C of I needs a win in its next two matches — at Southern Oregon or Oregon Tech on Friday and Saturday — to claim both.
But, the sixth-ranked C of I (21-1, 16-0 Cascade) isn’t settling for just one win.
“They’re really important to us,” Fox said of winning both matches to make the C of I the first unbeaten league champs since 2006, when the Yotes also accomplished the feat. “We’re going to go next weekend and really work hard to beat both Southern and OIT. It’ll just be really key wins for us next weekend.”
Saturday’s was just as key, in part because it was a chance for the seniors — Fox, Melanie Stieg, Danielle Montalbo, Whitney Brigham, Bryanne Gribble and Nathy Neres — to say goodbye on a high note.
Things didn’t start on a high note, though, as the Knights (3-15, 2-15) put up a fight, tying the opening set 10-10 on a Kim Mulka kill.
“There was a lot of emotion going on after the senior night ceremony,” Fox said. “Midway through the first game, we were able to put that away and pick it up.”
They were sparked by a couple of big defensive saves by Gribble and Kylee Nawahine on one point, then by Kelsey Soos on another, which sparked a 5-0 run that helped break the set open.
“We just got after some things, that definitely sparked things for us,” Mendiola said.
That led to the rout, as the C of I was able to enjoy senior night by subbing in liberally, giving 12 players a chance to be part of the win.