HILLSBORO -- Cinderella didn’t even make it to midnight in the OSAA 5A state volleyball championship match at Liberty High School Saturday night.
No. 1 Corvallis scattered the mice, smashed the pumpkin and grabbed the big trophy with a decisive 25-19, 25-13, 25-18 victory over sixth-seeded Ridgeview of Redmond.
The Spartans completed a near-perfect season in the process. They finished 25-2, and the only losses were to 6A teams. They were 70-4 in sets against 5A teams.
And they never got to crisis mode against the upstart Ravens. Or at any time in the tournament.
A team like that doesn’t just happen. The Spartans have been building this one for a long time.
“We’ve been thinking about this year since about the seventh and eighth grade,” said Corvallis senior Tanya Sisson, whose decisive service run to open the second set put the Ravens in a hole they couldn’t escape. “We played with each other and against each other at the Boys and Girls Club and at the Mid-Willamette in Albany.”
As for thinking about Ridgeview, the Spartans started — and maybe ended — with Ravens’ junior Rylee Troutman. Troutman is the heart of her team. She is also a lethal hammer at the net. She led the Ravens to two upsets in Friday’s action, and the Spartans knew who she was.
“We prepared for her,” Sisson said. “We didn’t change our defense, but we were prepared to. When you stop an aggressive player, you can stop their momentum.”
That’s exactly what happened in the championship match. The Ravens hung in there through 10-9 lead in the first set, then let it slip a little and fell back 16-12. Ridgeview coach Randi Viggiano called time out to stop the bleeding.
Her timing was great, but the result was all wrong. The Ravens went to Troutman for spikes twice in a row, but Spartan blockers Allie Watts and Taylor Silbernagel turned her back both times.
Ridgeview went to the other side on the next point, but that blew up, too. Now the Spartans were up 19-12 and the set was all but over.
The next set was over from the beginning. The Spartans stole Ridgeview’s first serve, then Sisson served seven in a row for an 8-0 lead. The lead went out to 12-1 and the rout was on.
The Ravens moved Troutman back to swing from the 10-foot line in the third set and had some success. They got to within 16-14 on their last shot, but that was as close as they would come.
Corvallis defense was suffocating all night long. Ridgeview had a tiny little .115 hitting percentage to a robust .276 for the winners. The Spartans had 10 clean blocks.
Troutman, a unanimous all-tournament selection, got a game-high 16 kills, but had eight errors to go with them. Ryann Gregg had 13 kills for Corvallis.
“All season long we’ve come across teams with a big hitter,” Corvallis coach Steve Hyre said. “Our big middles (Watts and Silbernagel) dictate what we do defensively. I can’t say enough about how they played tonight.
“We have a lot of weapons. We have a lot of focus.”
Now they have a trophy to prove they won the biggest dance of the year.