Clackamas volleyball sweeps Lake Oswego in playoff opener
In many ways, the Clackamas volleyball team started from scratch this year.
The Cavaliers opened the 2021 season with a new coach and — thanks to transfers to the new Adrienne C. Nelson High School — a relatively new varsity roster.
Despite all that, Clackamas is finishing the year right where it always knew it would — deep in the Class 6A state playoffs.
The Cavaliers opened the second season on Wednesday, Oct. 27, when they swept past Lake Oswego 25-18, 25-13, 25-20 at Clackamas High School. Next up, No. 8 Clackamas (the Mt. Hood Conference runner-up) hosts No. 9 Sheldon (the Southwest Conference champion) in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30.
"It felt like a great game," said Clackamas junior outside hitter Halsey Brumitt, who led her team in kills against Lake Oswego. "I felt like everybody on our team was really on fire tonight. I'm super proud of everybody."
"We have the confidence out here," said senior setter Kendal Ishida. "We know we've put in the training and all it takes is for us to come out and execute, and we executed. We didn't make silly errors or anything like that."
With the win — the team's eighth straight — the Cavaliers improved to 20-5 overall. No. 25 Lake Oswego — the fourth-place finisher from the Three Rivers League — lost for the third time in its final four matches and finished its year at 13-11.
"We really wanted it," said Lake Oswego junior setter Grace Wollmuth. "It's unfortunate it didn't turn out the way we hoped, but it was a fun fight. It was super fun just being on the team. It was a great season this year."
"We want to win, but ... we lack a lot of confidence so when we get out on the court, the jitters come out and we just kind of forget how to play," added senior middle blocker Morghan Monahan, who led her team in kills against Clackamas.
The Cavaliers started fast in each of the night's first two sets, saw the Lakers rally, then pulled away to win. In the first set, Clackamas raced out to a 5-0 lead with Ishida at the service line, saw the Lakers close within 19-18 on a tip by senior Camille Myers, then pulled away to win on two Brumitt kills, an ace by senior Chloe Voytilla and three Lake Oswego hitting errors.
In the second set, the Cavs grabbed a 10-1 lead, saw Lake Oswego edge back within six points, then won by scoring 14 of the set's final 22 points, with Brumitt and senior outside hitter Leah Agost notching four kills each in that stretch.
The Lakers turned the tables in the third set, though, grabbing an 8-1 lead thanks to a pair of aces from junior Claire Williams and a pair of Monahan kills. But Clackamas did not falter, putting together an 18-11 run that tied the set at 19-19 when Ishida set Agost for a crosscourt kill from the left side.
Clackamas then scored six of the match's final seven points to win, with Brumitt and Agost each getting a kill, and Agost ending the set on an ace.
"We're all really on the same page which I think helps a lot," Brumitt said. "There was a little bit of nerves at the beginning of each set, but once we started going, we really calmed down."
"I think we came together more at the end, and we were just talking more and playing with joy and love for the game," Wollmuth added. "I think that our communication increased, and we were just fighting for it."
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