Here’s what happened last week in Oregon volleyball:
10 and oh!
Jesuit captured the Central Catholic Tournament over the weekend to become the first (and only?) Oregon team to reach double digit wins without suffering a defeat. The Crusaders, No. 1 in the OSAAtoday 6A Coaches Poll, defeated the host school, 5A Summit, Sheldon, Clackamas, Nelson and the host school. Jesuit needed three sets and a rally to hand Nelson its first defeat of 2022.
“The team played very well in the tournament,” noted Jesuit coach Teresa Zimmerlee. “Our passing broke down a little in a couple of matches, giving our opponents a slight edge, but we were able to refocus and put the ball to the setter. We are getting more comfortable playing together every time we get on the court. We are also doing a much better job of moving and speeding up the sets and trying different attack patterns.”
Zimmerlee praised the fight both Nelson and Sheldon gave the Crusaders.
“They were both aggressive attacking and serving through the matches,” she explained. “They were both solid teams on offense and defense.”
Jesuit was anchored by six-rotation outsides Isabel Patterson and CeAnna O'Loughlin. Setter Jackie Carle helped out with tenacious play, Lilly Lansing led the team in blocking, and both Addie Azavedo and Tiana Takayama contributed with stellar defense from the back row.
Seeing double digits
Only two other teams in Oregon have reached 10 or more wins to this point in the season, according to the records/results posted on www.osaa.org.
Central Christian, No. 10 in the most recent OSAAtoday 1A Coaches Poll, is 11-2 after a 3-1 showing on Saturday at the Summit Springs Tournament. The Tigers’ losses are to 8-3 Prairie City and undefeated Open Door Christian Academy.
Sisters, No. 3 in the latest OSAAtoday 3A Coaches Poll, moved to 10-1 after impressive Saturday wins over Cascade (No. 1 in 4A), Marshfield (No. 2 in 4A) and Santiam Christian (No. 6 in 3A) at the Cascade Invite.
The Outlaws dropped their second match of the season, to 5A Thurston, but have since won nine straight, including an “instant classic” versus reigning 3A state champion Burns on Sept. 1.
Burns won the first set on the road by eschewing its usual power attack for successful tips over the block. Sisters scrapped and came away with Game 2 to knot the match at 1-1. Burns used two large runs in Game 3 to win, 25-17, only to see Sisters match every Hilander run in the fourth to force a deciding fifth set.
Sisters roared to a 5-0 lead to open the fifth set behind the serving of setter Hannah Fendall. Burns called time and eventually countered with a 5-0 run of its own to get it back into the set.
As the score went back and forth, the tension began to rise in the gym for both teams. Burns began an onslaught of attacks, but Sisters met every hit with some stellar defensive passing. When the final ball hit the floor, an 18-16 Sisters win, the Outlaws found themselves on the right side of an epic non-league match.
Sisters coach Rory Rush said the match was a measuring stick for her team.
“I am proud of our girls and I am excited to continue to grow with this group of girls,” she said. “We have a lot of growth ahead of us, but I am excited about the heart of this team!”
There’s an old joke about General Custer going to bed with his boots on because he didn’t want to smell “de-feet.” Well, including Jesuit, a total of 17 volleyball teams in the OSAA, have yet to smell (or taste) defeat.
That includes 5A No. 1 Bend (6-0), 2A No. 1 Salem Academy (2-0) and 1A No. 1 St. Paul (8-0).
St. Paul stayed unbeaten by winning the 12-team 1A-2A Invitational, which it hosted for the fifth year. The Invitational featured some very strong teams, including 1A Nos. 2 and North Clackamas Christian and North Douglas (defending 1A champion) and 2A No. 2 Monroe.
Both St. Paul and NCCS made it to the championship match, as they did a year ago. The teams entered the final undefeated on the season, but only the Buckaroos left unblemished, after a 25-18, 22-25, 15-12 win.
Setter Gracie Koch ran a solid offense with contributions on attack from Stella Koch, Anabelle Davidson, Mer Coleman, Halsie Hempfling and Audra Rose and a defense ed by Frankie Lear and Isla Haven.
Gracie Koch had 23 assists and Stella Koch slammed home 14 kills in the championship match.
“Our team is playing very solid with a stronger desire this year,” said coach Les Hiller.
The other 13 unbeatens are McNary and Ida B. Wells in 6A, La Salle Prep and Wilsonville in 5A, Scappoose and Philomath in 4A, Creswell and Banks in 3A, and Open Door Christian Acad., Rogue Valley Adventist Acad., Nixyaawii, Glenwood / Klickitat and Damascus Christian in 1A.
Wilsonville stayed unbeaten by prevailing on Saturday at the Tualatin Tournament. The Wildcats went 2-0-1 in pool play, splitting sets with 6A Newberg; and won the pool on overall point differential. Wilsonville then swept Sandy in the semifinals to set up a rematch with Newberg.
The first set was neck and neck. Wilsonville fought off a set point against to knot the score at 24-all. Cammy Gore then served successive aces to clinch the win. Newberg, which features senior attacker Sophia Gregoire-Salagean, an Oregon Duck recruit; built a six-point lead in Set 2. But Makenna Wiepert's excellent serving helped Wilsonville close the gap and, coupled with some tremendous defense and punctuated by kills by Kaylee Dresser and Emma Alewine, the Wildcats prevailed, 25-23, to earn the sweep and the title.
“It was a great team win as we had contributions from every player on the team,” noted Wildcat head coach Scott Thompson. “We preach winning the serve/serve receive battle, which I believe we did against every team we played. We played our best defense so far this year with some timely blocks (Emma Alewine, Olivia Lyons, Kaylee Dresser, and Kate Gore all registered blocks) and fantastic digs, notably by Mary Matthews and Ella Hubka and punctuated by perfectly executed pancakes by Cammy Gore and Makenna Wiepert. As always, our offense is a team effort as we are at our best when we have good set distribution. Makenna Wiepert led the team in kills, while it was our middles and opposites who had the highest hitting percentage.”
Gervais played in the St. Paul tournament on Saturday, finishing first in its pool and third overall. Of note: During pool play, the Cougars spotted Days Creek a 13-0 lead in a set before rallying to win, 25-20. Izzy Boyd served the last five points to complete out the comeback…
Sherwood won the Southridge tournament, with notable wins over Valley Catholic and Crescent Valley. In the championship match against CV, Sherwood’s Emily Fulton led the way with 10 kills. Caitlin Kirkpatrick chipped in with three blocks and Sidney Knowles served three aces…
Crescent Valley won the first set of the final versus Sherwood, before dropping the final two sets, 25-13, 15-12.
“Sherwood did a great job of keeping our defense off balance by setting their pin hitters effectively,” noted Crescent Valley coach Troy Shorey. “We had some great rallies and spectacular play from our players to keep us in the match. We just gave up too many runs to make a full comeback.”
The loss was the first of the year for the Raiders, who are No. 5 in the latest 5A OSAAtoday Coaches Poll but may be the team to beat in the classification.
Standouts for CV at the Southridge Tourney included MB Taelyn Bentley (34 kills; .604 hitting; six blocks; six aces), Kamden Mitchell (76 assists), Bella Jacobson (29 kills, 13 aces) and Dani Street (27 digs; five aces)…
Molalla won the Silber Bracket at the Cascade Tournament despite missing two starters and having one of its starting setters leave after the second pool match. Molalla moved libero, Delaney Mitchell, to setter and moved its remaining setter, Asvery Guijosa, to middle blocker. After failing to win a set in pool play trying to get the new lineup in synch, Molalla won its bracket by defeating North Marion and Astoria to get to Cleveland in the Silver Bracket final. Lauree Nelzen’s team came away with a 27-25, 25-23 win!
“There were so many rallies that lasted at least 30 seconds, with a few closer to a minute!” Nelzen explained. “It was a great match by both teams. I'm so proud of these girls, not just for the win in the championship, but fighting through injuries and a different line up with players in completely different positions than they are used to. They worked hard, and gave it all they had, which is all a coach can ask for. Delaney and Asvery and senior Anna Parker worked really hard to set the tone for the day - yes we are out of our comfort zone but we don't quit....ever! And our role players on the bench, including a JV player who was with us for the day, did a great job stepping up and doing their job. A great finish from a great group of girls.”
Tillamook is officially 3-2 on the year but showed glimpses of its potential by rallying from down 19-9 in pool play versus vaunted Marshfield at the Cascade Tournament on Saturday. The Cheesemakers got within 23-18 in that set, but it appeared the comeback would fall short until Maritza Nieves served the final points, ending with an ace serve to take the set, 25-23.
"I know we have this potential to compete at a high level and the girls need to see that,” said coach LaVonne Rawe. “This is proof. As soon as they recognize this, there is a world of success waiting for us."
Scio is off to a 6-1 start, its only loss to tough Santiam Christian in four sets. The Loggers rebounded from that loss to sweep Dayton on Sept. 7 behind junior Kadence Soto, who has 12 kills on 16 swings and no errors. Soto also leads the team in serve-receive and is one of two setters. The other, sophomore Taryn Ramsey, had eight kills and a team-high 12 assists. Carrie Jones added seven stuff blocks and juniors Addy Wessels and Gracie Mask contributed 10 digs apiece. Scio is not currently ranked, but the Loggers are growing into a formidable PacWest Conference power and could challenge for a state tournament trophy, if not this season than certainly next!
St. Mary’s Academy played its first two matches on Aug. 27 and then did not play again for 10 days. On Sept. 6, the Blues defeated Tualatin on the road behind the play of their three middles. Senior Mia Fedota hit .531 with 19 kills on 32 attempts. Junior Julissa Pernsteiner, who split time playing middle and outside, recorded 18 kills, three blocks and hit .406. Finally, junior Eleanor Brecke, who played middle and right side, had six kills, four blocks and hit .333.
“The dynamic of our team is extremely positive with our players hungry to be back at the top of the Three Rivers League,” noted coach Wendy Stammer, in her first year at the school after more than two decades at Lakeridge.
Portland Christian returned just one player from last year’s team and has a new coaching staff, headed by Denetia Chimuku. But the Royals, who once had Olympian Kim Hill patrolling the middle, are 2-1 behind freshman libero Olive Clapp, who is making a huge impact; and junior OH Hannah Griffith, who averages three aces per set.
Beaverton won just four matches last year and is already halfway to that total through five matches this fall. Third-year coach Ashley Waggoner said that opponents should not underestimate her team.
“We are young, athletic and eager.”
Underclassmen – juniors Jane Christensen (6-0 MB) and Sam Ellis (5-11 pin), sophomores Kaarine Geymann (5-7 S) and Destiny Hernandez (5-7 OH) and freshman Alexia Braden (5-9 OH) – are a wonderful foundation for the future, bolstered by senior exchange student Valentina Pagani, a natural setter who can play any position well.
Autumn Hilberg is the new coach at Philomath, which is 2-0 so far with zero sets dropped. The team will build around two returning starters, senior S/RS Abigail Brown and junior OH Ahnika Tryon.
The Dalles was 7-11 a year ago, but is off to a 5-1start to 2022. Only undefeated La Salle Prep has defeated the Riverhawks this season. The Dalles returned their entire lineup from a year ago. Second-year coach Julie Summers said that her team is working toward being champs in the competitive Tri-Valley Conference and hoping for a state title run. Players to watch include senior OH Kennedy Abbas, junior setter Zeilane Stewart, junior OH Zoe LeBreton and senior MB Zoe Dunn, but Summers said, “We are a solid team of 12. Everyone contributes and can play any position at any time.”.
Bonanza graduated seven seniors, which means that Antler head coach Donna Romtvedt is starting her 40th year with only two returning players with any varsity experience. The team, which is off to a 6-5 start, is keyed by defense. Senior OH Josie Cole, junior setter Julie Hess and junior defender Jaidyn Maddock are key players for the Antlers, who won a league title in 2A last year and hope to duplicate that feat in 1A this fall.
Jumping 10-feet on approach remains a lofty goal for most volleyball players. If you get enough air to touch a regulation basketball rim, you have the ability to hit over blockers and pick your own spots. That makes you a very dangerous scorer on the court!
In this space, we will recognize those Oregonians who have achieved that lofty mark. We will add to it in each Volleyball Notebook as coaches tell us about the players who have reached rare air. Here’s where we stand currently in the 10-Foot Club:
Katie Clevenger, 6-0 Sr. OH, South Medford
Hailey Heytvelt, 6-2 Jr. MB, La Salle Prep
Sophia Gregoire-Salagean, 6-2 Sr. OH, Newberg
If you are a HS coach and want to add someone to the list, by all means email me, [email protected], put “10-foot club” in the subject line and provide the info in the manner shown above.
In this space, we list those players, playing Oregon high school volleyball in the current senior class and younger, who have made a commitment to attend a college or university of their choice and play volleyball. Please email [email protected] to add players to the list, using the format you see below.
Emily Blagg, 5-8 Sr. MB, McNary -- George Fox University
Halsey Brummit, 5-11 Sr. OH, Clackamas – Dominican University of California
Kayleigh Carpenter, 5-7 Sr. OH, South Salem – Boise State (for defense)
Tatum Chase, 6-1 Sr. MB, Catlin Gabel -- Seattle University
Katie Clevenger, 6-0 Sr. OH, South Medford – Cal Poly
Maddie Corpe, 5-10 Sr. S, McNary -- Oregon State University
Mia Fedota, 6-2 Sr. MB, St. Mary's Academy -- University of Puget Sound
Gwen Fife, 6-0 Sr. OH, Sheldon – University of Utah (Beach)
Emma Frye, 5-10 Sr. MB, Tigard -- Schreiner University
Bella Gamache, 6-0 Sr. MB, Monroe - USC (Beach)
Bridget Gould, 5-11 Jr. RS, Marshfield - University of Oregon
Sophia Gregoire-Salagean, 6-2 Sr. OH, Newberg – University of Oregon
Alexis Haury, 5-10 Jr. S, Silverton – University of Washington
Kennedy Hines, 5-10 Sr. OH, Roseburg -- Umpqua CC
Brooksie Isham, 5-10 Sr. OH, South Salem -- Air Force Academy
Vivi Kaelin, 5-10 Sr. OH, Lake Oswego -- Cal State Bakersfield (Beach)
Sidney Knowles, 5-8 Sr. libero, Sherwood -- Eckerd College
Kalista Lukovich, 6-0 Sr. OH, Nelson – Eastern Washington University
Grace Luttrell, 6-0 Sr. MB, Roseburg -- Linn-Benton CC
Olivia Maulding, 6-2 Sr. MB, La Salle Prep - University of Notre Dame
Elsa McDermott, 5-8 Sr. OH, Catlin Gabel – University of Pennsylvania (for defense)
Ceanna O’Loughlin, 5-11 Sr. OH, Jesuit - Colorado State University - Pueblo
Isabel Patterson, 5-11 Sr. OH, Jesuit – University of Oregon (Beach and Indoor)
Hayden Pinard, 5-10 Sr. S, Roseburg -- Western Oregon University
Mia Starr, 5-10 Sr. S, Central Catholic – UC Davis
Jillian Stein, 5-8 Sr. OH, Bend -- Austin Peay (Beach)
Kait Wood, 5-11 senior MB, Sheldon – Rocky Mountain