Peaking early is not always a bad thing.

But Heidi Heath said that was the probable cause of her Grantsville team's early demise at the recently completed 3A girls state volleyball tournament.

"We maybe played our best volleyball a couple of weeks earlier," she said. "We just couldn't capitalize when we were ahead."

Peaking early will not get you a state championship. But Grantsville's volleyball fortunes are not yet to the point that the Cowgirls are ready for the ultimate winner's circle. Besides, they compete in the same region as Morgan, which did win it all. Yet Grantsville claimed a strong second-place finish in region.

Peaking early often signals a lot of hard work early on and an intense ambition to improve to a better position. And that is what the Cowgirls have accomplished.

"We have gotten better each year," said Heath, who is in her fourth year of building the program at Grantsville.

She will send off four seniors that she has worked with since she has been at the school and will be sorely missed. Brooke Bakker is an outside hitter who led the team in kills and kill percentage.

"Tonya Terry, she is the heart of the team," said Heath, "and one of our hardest workers."

Paige Allred and Kylie Erickson will also leave holes that will have to be filled.

However, Heath is optimistic. She said that next year's team will be different.

"We will not have as much experience," she explained, "but we will be quicker and more athletic."

Another good sign is how much she enjoys her job.

"Every day is fun for me," she said.

She also said that this was a big learning year for her. She hopes to use that knowledge to build a strong team for next year and harness the skills of her newcomers. Kelsi Wells is a sophomore who Heath believes has a lot of potential. Three juniors will return who will give the team some experience. They are Annie Young, Mallory Oltjenbrun and Ashley Bartlett.

Heath is not backing down on next year's prospects and feels her team will continue to get better.

"We will be just as competitive," she said, "if not even more."

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