Fall Sports Preview: 5A Intermountain Conference

Each week, I will be previewing the soccer, cross country, and volleyball programs in each conference from every classification before fall sports are scheduled to start at the end of August, with a goal of getting through all of them before the start of the season. Today, I continue with the Intermountain Conference in 5A…

Photo: Ryan Brennecke/Bend Bulletin

Soccer

In 2019, two teams flexed their muscles as they bullied their way to the top two spots in the Intermountain Conference, Ridgeview and Hood River Valley. Both teams finished 9-1 in conference play, and both qualified for the state playoffs with quick first round exits, alongside The Dalles/Dufur. 2020 should prove to be very interesting as all three programs are reloading again with fairly seasoned rosters.

Ridgeview has the youth advantage with four underclassmen returning from all-league performances, including Junior Goalkeeper Jessica Sperber and three sophomores. Hood River Valley has a strong senior class in 2020, led by Mira Olson, Abby McCormack, and Vanessa Preciado. The Dalles/Dufur will be led by Senior Courtney Hert, alongside a strong defensive front in Grace Meyers and Emily Adams. Overall, Ridgeview will be difficult to dethrone with such a solid, young roster returning, but look for Hood River Valley to fight hard in a race for a conference crown in 2020.

Credit: Ridgeview Volleyball

Volleyball

Led by a star studded senior class, Ridgeview plowed their way through conference and 5A opponents on their way to the 2019 state championship. Now, with six departed seniors including conference player of the year Rylee Troutman, Ridgeview faces a tough road on their way to defending their conference and state championships. Crook County also looks at a solid amount of departures entering 2020, which will slow down their pursuit of Ridgeview for the conference title.

Ridgeview should be solid in defending their conference title, as the rest of the conference’s upper tier teams are reloading in 2020, and with all-conference first team libero Ally Henry leading the senior class. Crook County returns hitter Liz Barker and libero Kacie Stafford in 2020, but the depth of Ridgeview will be a challenge to overcome in their pursuit.

Credit: Hood River Valley Athletics

Cross Country

In 2019, Hood River Valley dominated the Intermountain Conference districts and took state runner-up at the 5A state championships, falling four points short of state champion Corvallis. Their strong senior class carried the team last season, passing the torch to returning seniors Chloe Bullock and Lucy Hennessy. The Dalles finished ninth at state, returning a strong crop of runners in Hanna Ziegenhagen, Caitie Wring, Emily Johnson, Jenna Miller, and Fiona Dunlop. Other athletes to watch in 2020 from the Intermountain Conference include Kloey Frederick from Redmond and Savannah Jesse of Crook County.

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