Crusaders dominate the state tournament for another title
Nov. 7, 2015
HILLSBORO - They were almost perfect - the Jesuit Crusaders.
Powered by 6-foot-3 middle blocker Jasmine Gross, Jesuit won the OSAA Class 6A Volleyball tournament Saturday night at Liberty High School, beating crosstown rival Central Catholic 22-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22 to finish the season 32-0.
The unbeaten record was nearly perfect, too, as the team lost just two games all season, including the first game of the final to the Rams.
Gross and outside hitter Nicole Peterson were named to the all-tournament first team.
In other finals, Summit of Bend beat LaSalle of Milwaukie in three games for the 5A title at Liberty High as well.
In Forest Grove, top-seeded Banks beat Sisters in three games for the 4A title, while Vale outlasted Creswell in five games for the 3A title, earning the win 15-11 in the fifth game.
And at Redmond's Ridgeview High, top-seeded Burns swept through Culver in three games for the 2A title, and Country Christian beat Hosanna Christian in three games for the 1A title.
Central Catholic and Jesuit meet for fourth time in six years
Nov. 7, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
HILLSBORO - It didn't take long for students supporting both Jesuit and Central Catholic at the state volleyball tournament to pump up Saturday night's final. With the semifinals ending within minutes of one another, both student groups chanted the same thing: "Holy War!"
With the top-ranked Cruaders facing the No. 2 Rams, the state's dominant Class 6A programs will meet for the fourth time in six years for the state championship at Liberty High School.
Jesuit cruised through McNary of Salem in three games, then fought through No. 4 seed - and defending Class 5A champion - West Albany in three games both times.
Central Catholic beat Southridge, then Clackamas to reach its fifth final in six years. The Rams beat Jesuit in three consecutive years, 2009-11, before losing in the semifinals in 2012, and in the finals last year to unheralded Lakeridge. With that memory still fresh, the Rams have been focused all year, and welcome a meeting with the Crusaders.
"We wouldn't want to play anyone else," Central Catholic senior mioddle hitter Reed Jacobson said.
The match is set to begin at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
La Salle of Milwaukie played its way into a final for the first time since 1999, while St. Helens is playing in a final for the first time. The final is set for 6 p.m. at Liberty High, with neither team being ranked higher than third.
The biggest upset of the day happened at Lane Community College, where Crook Country's eight-year run as a state champion ended with a three-game loss to Sisters. The Outlaws won a grueling match with the Cowgirls, 25-16, 30-28, 26-24, and will play Banks in the final.
Top-seeded Creswell and No. 2 seed Santiam Christian will meet in the final after both teams won their semifinals in three games.
Grant Union, seeded 12th, upset top seed Kennedy in five games, 26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-12, and will play second seeded Burns in the final at Ridgeview High School.
Top seed Country Christian and third seeded Dufur will meet in the final with both teams having won their semifinals in three games.
Central Catholic is the favorite to win its first championship in three years
Nov. 6, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
HILLSBORO - It was after a grueling victory over long-time rival Jesuit that the Central Catholic volleyball team ran into problems last year in the form of Lakeridge High.
A team with a historic resume that was basically that season long, stunned the Rams in the final - the first time the school had played in a final - and kept the Rams from the state title for a second consecutive year.
Entering the 2014 Class 6A tournament, the Rams are back to a No. 2 ranking and look to get the state title back in-house as they prepare for a quarterfinal match with Southridge.
In the Rams' way is a likely title match with Jesuit, something that happened in 2009-11 - all of which the Rams won. Jesuit is seeded first.
Jesuit's path to the final could include a match with West Albany, which won the past two Class 5A titles before moving up to 6A this year. Th teams have met twice this season with Jesuit winning each time.
The Class 6A tournament is one of six that will play out today and Saturday as the OSAA season comes to a close.
In the Class 5A tournament - also played at Liberty HS, Lebanon, which has never reached a final, is the top seed, while Marist is No 2.
Crook County entered the Class 4A tournament as the sixth seed, but is the favorite to extend its title run to nine straight as the event plays out at Lane Community College. Banks, which lost to the Cowgirls in the 2009 final, is the top seed, though. Valley Catholic, the Class 3A runner-up from last year, moved up to 4A and is among the quarterfinalists.
At Class 3A, two-time defending champion Santiam Christian returns, although as the No. 6 seed. Creswell, another school that has not reached a final, is seeded No. 1, with Cascade Christian seeded second. The tournament is also played at Lane CC.
In the Class 2A tourney played at Ridgeview High in Redmond, Kennedy and Culver are the top teams looking to replace Days Creek, which moved to Class 1A, as champion.
Country Christian, which beat Days Creek in the Round of 16, and North Douglas are the top contenders for the Class 1A title, which will also be decided at Ridgeview.
LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL CLASS 6A 1:15 p.m. McNary vs. Jesuit Sunset vs. West Albany 3:15 p.m. Clackamas vs. Willamette Southridge vs. Central Catholic
CLASS 5A 8 a.m. Corvallis vs. Lebanon St. Helens vs. Summit 10 a.m. Crater vs. La Salle Marist vs. Bend
LANE COMMUNITY COLLEGE CLASS 4A 1:15 p.m. Madras vs. Banks Valley Catholic vs. Marshfield 3:15 p.m. Crook County vs. Hidden Valley Cascade vs. Sisters
CLASS 3A 8 a.m. Coquille vs. Creswell Rainier vs. Vale 10 a.m. Oregon Episcopal vs. Santiam Christian Salem Academy vs. Cascade Christian
RIDGEVIEW HIGH SCHOOL CLASS 2A 115 p.m. Bonanza vs. Kennedy Grant Union vs. Myrtle Point 3:15 p.m. Union vs. Burns Faith Bible vs. Culver
CLASS 1A 8 a.m. Hosanna Christian vs. Country Christian Camas Valley vs. Lowell 10 a.m. Trinity Lutheran vs. Dufur Crane vs. North Douglas
It's the Rams and Pacers after each beats a finalist from last year
Nov. 8, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
HILLSBORO - The expected Battle Royale between Central Catholic and Jesuit materialized at the state volleyball championships Friday night, but the Rams didn't win state by scoring a dramatic win over the Crusaders. Instead, they need to win one more match to claim their fourth Class 6A state title in five years.
Awaiting Central is Lakeridge, which played its way into a final for the first time, only a year after not even reaching the tournament.
Central Catholic beat Jesuit 23-25, 25-13, 25-18, 23-25, 15-13, while Lakeridge beat last year's runner-up Roseburg, 25-21, 24-26, 25-11, 25-22, asserting its position as the No. 2 seed in the 32-team playoff bracket in the process.
"This is such a thrill for all of us," Lakeridge coach Wendy Stammer said. "We know we're going to be the underdog, and we're going to play like we have nothing to lose."
The teams are set to meet at 8:30 p.m. at Liberty High School, with the match following the Class 5A final.
Central Catholic and Lakeridge couldn't be farther apart in terms of program history. The Rams have won five titles under coach Rick Lorenz, and played in eight other finals. Lorenz won three other titles at St. Mary's before moving to Central Catholic. Lakeridge has never played for a title, and lost in the Sweet 16 last year in three games to Gresham, making just reaching the eight-team tournament an initial goal of the season for the Pacers.
The top-ranked Rams lost to Roseburg in the semifinals last year, making last season a huge disappointment.