North Clackamas Christian volleyball advances to 1A quarterfinals
When the season began, the North Clackamas Christian volleyball team had one major goal in mind: make it to Redmond.
Ridgeview High School is the site of the final rounds of the OSAA 1A Volleyball State Championship tournament, and the Ridgeview gymnasium has served as a dream destination for the Saints this season.
North Clackamas Christian fell one match shy of making the trip a year ago, after Crane came to Oregon City and pulled off an upset of a top-ranked NCCS squad. That heartbreak became the catalyst for the Saints' playoff run this year, however. Now, after earning the No. 4 seed in the 1A playoffs, North Clackamas Christian has booked its ticket to the quarterfinal round in Redmond by pulling consecutive sweeps of No. 29 Spray/Mitchell/Wheeler and No. 13 Adrian.
"It's just crazy," said senior outside hitter Ashlyn Watt after her team beat Adrian on Saturday, Oct. 29. "We worked really hard. It's just a lot of fun, and we're all so excited."
With the big goal put away, the Saints want to keep playing together for as long as they can.
"Trips bring us together even more," said senior Kali Dransfeldt, who had 12 kills, four aces and two blocks against the Antelopes on Saturday. "It's our final chance to show what we have."
Dransfeldt noted that the team's last few games together will be bittersweet.
"For the seniors, it's sad, but I'm so excited to get closer and have final moments with each other. Obviously, school still goes on, but this tournament will bring us together. I love my team."
As for what they're looking for when they get there, the Saints are welcoming of some stiff competition after a relatively easy run through league play.
"We haven't been challenged a lot," said Watt, "When we have been, we haven't quite pulled through yet. We want that competitiveness."
There is one particular opponent that Dransfeldt wants to see in Redmond next week: league rival Damascus Christian, the team that has given the Saints four of their five total losses on the season.
"I am so hoping to run into Damascus Christian," said the senior. "I look forward to playing against them so bad. We're healthy rivals, and to get another go at them would be an amazing opportunity."
First, though, the Saints will need to get past No. 5 Rogue Valley Adventist on Friday morning, Nov. 4. That quarterfinal match begins at 8 a.m. on Court 2 at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, with the semifinal round being played at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening. Consolation and medal rounds will follow on Saturday, Nov. 5. The OSAA 1A Volleyball State Championship begins at 6 p.m. Saturday.
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