Wilsonville finishes second in 5A volleyball tournament
HILLSBORO — Before the season, Wilsonville set a goal to win the school's first state championship in volleyball.
The Wildcats finished one win shy, falling to Ridgeview 3-0 Saturday night at Liberty High School in the Class 5A championship match.
"The goal from the beginning of the season was to get there and we played an excellent team, who were really playing a very tough game," Wilsonville coach Nathan Blankenship said. "I think it was a combination of them playing really well and playing very hot, and us not playing so hot. We weren't on point and that's OK. What I'm very happy about is how hard we fought right down to the last point. We never gave up. We were swinging at balls. We hit a few out, but we were swinging hard."
Wilsonville junior Clarissa Klein and Ridgeview senior Rylee Troutman were named the players of the game.
Klein finished the match with 11 kills and five aces.
"Even though it wasn't first, I know we played our hearts out and that's all that matters," Klein said. "They were a great team, so I wasn't surprised. No. 7 (Troutman) just killed us. Their serving killed us and we dug ourselves too big of a hole."
Wilsonville led 8-4 in the first set, but Ridgeview rallied and never looked back. Up 19-18, the Ravens closed the first game on a 6-1 run to win 25-19.
Tied 13-13 in the second set, Ridgeview went on a 7-0 run and then finished off the Wildcats 25-17.
Down 23-17 in the third game, Wilsonville rallied to get within 24-22 before losing the match on a service error.
"We were adjusting constantly, so I was happy about how we were adjusting to what they were doing, but we just didn't finish it off," Blankenship said. "That happens. They (Ridgeview) were hitting beautifully and had a lot of power and a lot of balls through the blocks. You're in the right spot and it's not quite there."
Senior Kennedy Juranek, who along with Klein was voted to the all-tournament first team, had 20 assists in the championship match.
"I'm just so incredibly proud of my team," Juranek said. "We've worked so hard all season, since August, to be where we are now. I'm disappointed that we didn't take the title, but I feel so proud of what we've done and we fought hard. Ridgeview is a really solid team. They were fun to play against."
Sophomore Ashli Edmiston had seven kills and was selected to the all-tournament second team.
Wilsonville got to the state championship game by defeating Thurston 3-0 in the quarterfinals and then West Albany 3-2 in the semifinals Friday.
Down 2-1 against West Albany, the Wildcats had to rally to win the fourth set 25-16 and the fifth 15-5.
"I was really nervous in the third set, but we pulled it together," Klein said. "I think we knew that this was the year that we could at least go to the finals and we pulled through and worked together and that was a key factor."
"West Albany was a very good blocking team and we had to adjust a few things in the second set and the third to make that happen in the fourth," Blankenship said. "Often times it's making adjustments and how rapidly you can assimilate those adjustments that make the difference.
"Their tenacity and willingness to fight for every point, against West Albany to continue to fight for every point even when we were behind, that has been the hallmark for this team. They will not give up. That's what got us here, their willingness to fight for each and every point."
The second place finish is the program's best ever.
"I'm really happy with the team," Blankenship said. "They're a wonderful set of girls, great players and they fight really hard. You can't ask for much more than that as a coach. I'm satisfied with their effort and with the season and where we got to. We had a great season. We just came up a little short at the end."
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