Claus picks a sport and a school

Peyton Claus, a three-sport athlete at Moscow High, has signed with North Idaho College to play volleyball.

MOSCOW — A roller coaster of a spring sports season produced some good news for Moscow High’s Peyton Claus.

The senior’s final high school sports season stopped before it even had a chance to get started, when the coronavirus outbreak halted her track and field season last month.

But Claus received some good news when she got a scholarship for another sport. Claus signed her letter of intent last week to play volleyball at North Idaho College, a two-year school in Coeur d’Alene.

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” Claus said. “My overall goal I think in the end was to continue on, and getting this opportunity and chance to play at North Idaho College — I’m very excited.”

Less than a two-hour drive from Moscow, NIC was the perfect fit for Claus and her sports family. Claus is the daughter of Moscow volleyball coach Toni Claus and Idaho men’s basketball coach Zac Claus.

“It’s a great place to go, especially because it’s only two hours away from home,” Claus said. “With my dad getting the head coaching job at Idaho, of course I always want to come back and support him.”

Claus powered the Bears to a 15-7 record last fall. The team’s biggest win came against rival Pullman in a match that doubled as a fundraiser for Gritman Medical Center’s Bosom Buddies program.

In the match, Moscow dropped the first two sets before rallying back to take a five-set victory over the undefeated Greyhounds.

“We lost the first two sets and then came back and won the last three, so it was a very intense game,” Claus said. “And obviously there was high energy in the game with everything going on.”

Claus, who helped put on the fundraiser with teammate Ellie Randall, said the match raised nearly $2,000 for breast cancer awareness. Both teams auctioned off their pink jerseys, and the fundraiser also featured a raffle, gift baskets, ice cream sales and other activities.

Claus also participates in basketball and track, and she plays club volleyball for Pullman’s Club ZZU.

Like all spring athletes, Claus’ final season was put in doubt when schools shut down to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Claus said she was looking forward to trying to get back to State in the 800-meter run and 4x400-meter relay. Claus and relay partner Megan Watson wanted to make the most of their final track season.

“She’s played all three sports with me all four years,” Claus said of Watson. “She’s been a real big part of my athletic career, so we were really looking forward to that.”

Without organized team practices, Claus is still trying to stay in shape. That means sometimes taking the yoga mats and music to the garage for workouts with her mom.

“A lot of video workouts — anything to stay a little active,” Claus said. “But honestly, (it’s) been a little hard to stay motivated with nothing really going on. But trying to stay active.”

Sports have always been a big part of Claus’ life.

Her parents both played at Eastern Washington — men’s basketball for Zac and volleyball for Toni.

Claus said her dad coached her in recreation soccer when she was young. And her mom has spent time as her volleyball coach.

Being in a coaching family means sometimes the mood of the household depends on how the games go that night.

“It’s kinda funny because this year was my first and last year playing with my younger sister, Morgan, because she was a freshman this year,” Claus said. “After a volleyball game, if it was a tough loss, it definitely changed the whole mood of the house. … But obviously when we get a great win or something like that, the house is very happy.”

Claus said staying close to home was important to her because it’ll be easier for her and her family to support each other.

“Having (Toni) as my coach, I’ve been able to create a good relationship with her,” Claus said. “Obviously the game, we’ve always kind of bonded over that together.”

Stephan Wiebe can be reached at swiebe@dnews.com, by phone at 208-883-4624 and on Twitter at @StephanSports.

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