Central Catholic, Lakeridge reach final
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.