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Wildcats defeat Class 6A McMinnville for the championship to improve to 15-0

COURTESY PHOTO: GREG ARTMAN - Wilsonville junior Clarissa Klein had 10 kills last Tuesday against La Salle Prep.

Wilsonville (15-0) remained undefeated and won its second tournament of the season Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.

The Wildcats were planning and hoping to see Class 6A defending state champions, Jesuit, in the finals.

But McMinnville upset the Crusaders 2-1 in the semifinals.

"I was hoping to play Jesuit," Wilsonville coach Nathan Blankenship said. "It was a fun match to watch. McMinnville played very well."

The Wildcats defeated McMinnville 2-0 (25-19, 25-15) for the Liberty tournament championship.

"They had just won this incredible match and sometimes you're spent," Blankenship said. "It happens. McMinnville is a good, solid team though. They've got a lot of good players. They were very scrappy and dug a lot of stuff up and just kept the ball in play. We just had too many hitters and too many weapons."

Wilsonville's toughest match came in the semifinals against Clackamas. The Wildcats won 2-0 (26-24, 25-23), but trailed and had to come from behind in both sets.

Wilsonville had defeated Clackamas 2-0 (25-17, 25-15) in pool play earlier in the day.

"Clackamas came back in a big way," Blankenship said. "They really wanted to beat us. They played much stronger, and we didn't play quite up to our normal. We definitely wanted to be pushed and get some of those really tough and tight matches."

The Wildcats tied Corvallis 1-1 (25-23, 16-25) in their first pool play match Saturday morning.

"They played very well against us, and they have a couple of monster hitters," Blankenship said of Corvallis. "It was fun to be challenged. It was our first match of the day and we didn't play with near the precision that we normally play with, which is a good learning experience."

Wilsonville also improved to 10-0 in the Northwest Oregon Conference last week by defeating La Salle Prep 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-19) on Tuesday.

Lindsey Hartford had 11 kills. Clarissa Klein recorded 10 kills, six aces and six digs. Ashli Edmiston added 10 kills and six digs. Grace Thompson had six aces and 13 digs. Kennedy Juranek posted 35 assists.

The Wildcats will face an even bigger test this Saturday in the West Linn tournament, which features many of the top teams in 6A, including the host Lions, Jesuit, Mountainside, Sunset and Sprague.

"The girls are playing well," Blankenship said. "They're playing hard. They're playing for each other. It's great to see."

Derek Wiley
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