West Albany serves notice with repeat
HILLSBORO - West Albany's dream of winning its first state title from a year ago turned into the start of a streak with a defense of its Class 5A title Saturday night.
The top-seeded Bulldogs beat upstart Willamette, 25-21, 25-11, 25-15, at Liberty High School behind a dominating performance from its seniors and junior hitter Payton Rund.
Rund pounded out 16 kills with just one error, and senior setter Haley Wells had 31 assists for West Albany, which gave up 21 or more points in just two games of its four-match playoff run. Senior Alyvia Sams added 10 kills and senior Marandah had six kills and no errors.
Willamette got 16 kills from senior Alycia Wodke, who had 50 of her team's 86 total attacks during the match. The sixth-seeded Wolverines, who upset No. 2 seed Churchill in the semifinals Friday night, struggled with errors in the match, losing that stat to the Bulldogs 17-5.
West Albany will take its two-year title run into Class 6A when the OSAA reclassification takes affect in September. With Rund as a team leader, the Bulldogs will be among the state contenders - the team having played evenly with Class 6A No. 1 seeded Central Catholic during the season.