NAMPA — Is it any coincidence that the best season Nampa Christian junior outside hitter Megan Yett had, came in the exact same season her older sister Tayler joined the coaching staff?
In jest, Tayler definitely thinks so, while Megan rolls her eyes before agreeing that Tayler did in fact play a major part in her banner 2016 season.
If you know the sisters, then you know this type of friendly back and forth banter, along with the game of volleyball is what bonds them to one other.
With Tayler coaching and cheering her on from the bench, Megan doubled her numbers in kills, digs and aces from last season, recording an eye-popping 679 kills, 426 digs and 122 aces to go along with 74 blocks and a passer rating of 2.73 (3.0 is a perfect rating). Those numbers made Megan Yett the clear runaway choice for the 2A Western Idaho Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
For her achievements, Yett is the 2016-17 Idaho Press-Tribune Sports Stars Volleyball Athlete of the Year.
“Megan was born to be a volleyball player,” Tayler said. “Her work ethic is unparalleled to anyone I have ever seen.
“When she commits to something or wants something, she doesn’t rest until she succeeds at it. She always wants to improve every single day and I think that’s what’s made her so successful.”
Tayler, 22, is six years the elder of her little sister and introduced volleyball to Megan when she was 10. And it was Tayler again who helped Megan out when she started playing volleyball herself in the seventh grade.
“She would pepper with me all the time, which is a rotation of passing, setting, digging and hitting,” Megan said. “She would always work with before and after games or at the house to help me get a feel for the ball.”
And when the sisters were going to be reunited with Tayler being named the assistant coach before the season began, Megan at first, wasn’t too thrilled. However, it didn’t take long for Megan to come around to the idea once she realized how much Tayler was helping her game out.
“She helped me progress as a player,” Megan said. “Tayler knows how I play and how I liked to be coached and it was nice to be able to have a coach that knows me like that.
“She’ll tell me if I did something good, but will also yell at me if I did something stupid. She knows I don’t like to be pandered, but told how it is. It’s encouraging to know that she knows what she’s doing.”
Megan also noticed the impact her sister was having on the team itself. The Trojans rolled through the regular season, going unbeaten in league play and only losing two games overall. And at the 2A District III Tournament, Nampa Christian won its sixth-straight district championship to qualify for the state tournament for the 18th consecutive year.
“She pushes us very hard so that we can reach our full potential,” Megan said. “She doesn’t let us slack off and we always have to give 100 percent no matter what drill we are doing or what team we are playing.”
At the state tournament in late October, the Trojans dropped just three matches and beat the two-time defending 2A state champion Malad, not once, but twice in their final two games to claim the coveted state championship for the eighth title in program history. The championship was not only a first for Megan, but for Tayler as well, who didn’t win one during her own playing days for the program.
“One of the greatest moments I’ve ever been a part of in my coaching career was seeing them hug and embrace each other at center court after winning the state championship together,” Nampa Christian coach Curtis Johnson said. “It’s moments like that why you coach.
“They wanted to reach that goal and do it together and to see all that come to fruition was pretty special.”
Even though the season is over now, that hasn’t stopped the sisters — or their own family for that matter — from playing volleyball. They, along with their little brother Caden, mother Michele, and father Curtis, like to engage in some “friendly” competitions in the backyard. So friendly, in fact, that Megan isn’t allowed to play but must instead keep score.
“My family is extremely competitive, and they seriously make me keep full on stats of how they’re doing because that’s how competitive they are,” Megan said. “If I do get to play, I can’t jump and I have to hit left handed, but most times I just sit there and keep stats, it’s not fun.”
Over this past summer in June, Megan committed to playing volleyball at the University of Utah — a dream helped realized by Tayler, who assisted Megan with her recruiting video and the application process.
“That was one of my dreams for Megan as well,” Tayler said. “I knew she was capable of playing for a Division I program, and I wanted to do everything in my power to help her get there.
“When she got in, it was very emotional for all of us and it changed her life for the better. To see someone you love reach a goal and a dream like that is priceless.”
Megan and Tayler are already looking forward to next season. The pair have extremely high hopes for next year, which involves hanging another banner in the rafters. More importantly, though, the two are glad they get to work with each other one more time in what will be Megan’s last go around with Nampa Christian.
“I’m glad I get to have her as my coach again because I know we’ll do great again,” Megan said. “And to be able to share my last year playing in high school with her will be fun.”
5A SOUTHERN IDAHO CONFERENCE
Player of the Year: Brooke Foster, sr., OH, Timberline
Coach of the Year: Deb Bradburn, Kuna
FIRST TEAM: Abbey Schwager, sr., Timberline; Allison O’Harra, sr., Centennial; McKenzie Lee, jr., Eagle; Maddie Wolter, sr., Boise; Mahala Bradburn, jr., Kuna; Payton Spoja, sr., Boise; Tori Gehring, sr., Rocky Mountain.
SECOND TEAM: Sabrina Radford, sr., Nampa; Hannah Belveal, jr., Rocky Mountain; Ariah Joyner, sr., Mountain View; Morgan Pugmire, sr., Mountain View; Sarah Smith, sr., Timberline; Rachael Driskell, so., Columbia; Elly Johnson, jr., Capital.
HONORABLE MENTION: Maiya Hammer, jr., Columbia; Shannan Cambron, sr., Rocky Mountain; Tristin Bowens, sr., Capital; Natalie Rose, sr., Kuna; Miranda Lamb, so., Timberline; Bridget Ward, jr., Timberline; Katti Kerkman, jr., Timberline; Chasslyn Shepard, sr., Borah; Gabby Joy, sr., Eagle; Ellie Van De Graaff, sr., Capital; Kate Lyon, sr., Rocky Mountain; Madi Tripp, sr., Boise; Grace Johnson, sr., Mountain View; Brianna Barta, sr., Centennial; Josie Whitehead, sr., Kuna; Kayleigh Hibbard, jr., Nampa; Sarah Graefe, jr., Meridian; Ryann Halladay, fr., Kuna; Elayna Kerwin, sr., Centennial; Josie Wickstrom, sr., Meridian; Megan Grant, jr., Columbia; Samantha Butler, jr., Kuna.
4A SOUTHERN IDAHO CONFERENCE
Player of the Year: Dani Nay, jr., Skyview
Coach of the Year: Michelle O’Connell, Ridgevue
FIRST TEAM: Jessica Ruffing, sr., Bishop Kelly; Natalie Sullivan, jr., Bishop Kelly; Mahra McLeod, sr., Emmett; Marissa Hilliard, sr., Middleton; Sable Lohmeier, sr., Mountain Home; Olivia Bradley, jr., Skyview.
SECOND TEAM: Kali Crawford, sr., Middleton; Macy Burch, sr., Bishop Kelly; Dakotah Walker, sr., Middleton; Whitney Bower, fr., Skyview; Morgan Bower, so., Skyview; Kailey Robbins, sr., Vallivue.
HONORABLE MENTION: Ashton Caldwell, sr., Bishop Kelly; Lindsey Schmidt, sr., Bishop Kelly; Jessica Browning, sr., Caldwell; Lillie Smith, jr., Emmett; Jessica White, so., Ridgevue; Demery Dean, sr., Skyview; Maddie Villarreal, sr., Vallivue; Sierra Wolff, jr., Vallivue; Kayla Riley, jr., Vallivue.
3A SNAKE RIVER VALLEY
MVP: Alecia Lundberg, sr., Weiser
FIRST TEAM: Kat Merges, sr., Parma; CJ Davis, sr., Weiser; Amaya Carter, so., Homedale; Kate Hardy, fr., Fruitland; Sara Lundberg, so., Weiser; Ellie Chastain, jr., Parma
SECOND TEAM: Madison Jackson, so., Parma; Diana Contreas, sr., Homedale; Molly Erskine, jr., Fruitland; Katie Davis, sr., Weiser; RaAnna Dahle, sr., Fruitland; Kassidy Forsberg, sr., Parma.
HONORABLE MENTION: Sophie Nash, so., Homedale; Mackenzie Robinson, sr., Parma; Paige Powers, sr., Parma; Danielle Church, sr., Fruitland; Bella Howie, sr., Payette; Dusti Futter, sr., Fruitland; Carli Swallow, sr., Homedale.
2A WESTERN IDAHO CONFERENCE
Player of the Year: Megan Yett, jr., Nampa Christian
Coach of the Year: Andrea Terpstra, Melba
FIRST TEAM: Megan Yett, jr., Nampa Christian; Kori Pentzer, jr., Melba; Kat Zwaanstra, sr., Cole Valley Christian; Nancy Leggett, sr., Nampa Christian; Emma Clark, so., Melba; Bailee Ray, sr., Cole Valley Christian; Pam Nelson, jr., McCall-Donnelly.
SECOND TEAM: Aidrie Voile, jr., New Plymouth; Holly Golenor, jr., Cole Valley Christian; Brianna Killion, sr., New Plymouth; Annette De Jong, jr., Nampa Christian; MacKaylee Kuntz, jr., Nampa Christian; Avery Villa, sr., Marsing; Callie Young, sr., Melba.
HONORABLE MENTION: Madison Bowers, fr., Nampa Christian; Jordyn Rush, jr., Melba; Kymra Richardson, sr., Melba; Julianne Bedsole, jr., Cole Valley Christian; Emily Holtrop, sr., Cole Valley Christian; Shay West, sr., McCall-Donnelly; Sophie Clay, fr., McCall-Donnelly; Candice Casqueira, sr., McCall-Donnelly; Maysun Moore, sr., McCall-Donnelly; Sheyenne Glorfield, sr., Marsing; Emma Heitz, so., Marsing; Ashley Loucks, so., Marsing; Brooke Labit, jr., Marsing; Elia Burgin, jr., New Plymouth; Katherine Fischer, sr., New Plymouth; Hannah Lattaie, sr., New Plymouth; LeAnn Garcia, sr., Marsing; Gabriela Rodriguez, so., Marsing.
1A WESTERN IDAHO CONFERENCE
Player of the Year: Kate Renfro, sr., Horseshoe Bend
FIRST TEAM: Carrisa Wade, so., Ambrose; Jade Warren, so., Horseshoe Bend; Saige Connelly, sr., Compass Honors; Kate Roberts, jr., Ambrose; Leah Stewart, sr., Notus; Syringa Riley, so., Horseshoe Bend.
SECOND TEAM: Emilie Cooke, sr., Liberty Charter; Sydney Pratt, sr., Horseshoe Bend; Emma Page, sr., Greenleaf; Mackenzie Van Patten, jr., Compass Honors; Ellie Bates, jr., Compass Honors; Sequoia Deason, Notus.
HONORABLE MENTION: Rachel Cummings, Idaho City; Reilly Renfro, sr., Horseshoe Bend; Madi Chestnut, so., Horseshoe Bend; Sabrina Winchel, sr., Wilder; Kimberli Severson, so., Victory Charter; Rose Bohn, sr., Ambrose; Amanda Smith, so., Ambrose; Katie Heckathorn, sr., Greenleaf; Faith Urwin, fr., North Star Charter; Brianne Crow, sr., Liberty Charter.