Weekend Volleyball: Crescent Valley Rocks 5A, McNary Proves Themselves, North Clackamas Christian Challenges St. Paul, Cascade Makes Their Mark

There is much to discuss after a jam packed Saturday of action across the state! With so much to discuss, there are only so many storylines that can be highlighted in such a small window. Here are some of those from a Saturday full of tournaments:

Here Comes The Crescent Valley Train

Jump aboard or be left behind, the Crescent Valley train is departing the station! If they weren’t already drawing attention, they’ll be doing so now after winning the Tualatin Tournament! The Raiders took down the Timberwolves, got revenge on Oregon City, and upset 5A #1 Wilsonville, talk about a resume to have for the media and opponents to read. That sweep loss to West Albany on Thursday is a distant memory, as they have proven themselves as a 5A contender with their fountain of youth that has rocked the 5A landscape. Their freshman studs Kamden Mitchell, Vivian Buford, Isabella Jacobsen, and Taelyn Bentley are not only the real deal, but have a sky high limit of potential ahead of them. They have another statement opportunity Thursday against Silverton, which is the Elite Oregon Girls featured match for Thursday.

McNary Finally Builds A Non-Conference Resume

The monkey is off the back of the Celtics! A long time nag of the Celtics and their legitimacy in the 6A race, McNary struggled to contend with quality teams outside the Mountain Valley Conference. On Saturday, the Celtics traveled to Eugene on a mission and came away with a significant win on the resume. They won the South Eugene Tournament and took down a 5A Top 10 team in the Silverton Foxes, and when coupled together with their competitiveness with South Salem, shows the Celtics can compete out of conference and are a team capable of making a run. With the North Medford and Westview Tournaments approaching, it just means more chances for them to bolster that resume and gain more respect.

St. Paul Has Company In The 1A Title Race

Early on, it has seemed that St. Paul was all alone at the top of the 1A race for a state title. After Saturday, the Buckaroos have found a new contender in North Clackamas Christian. The Saints impressed at the St. Paul Tournament, sweeping 2A Union, taking down Damascus Christian, and led #1 St. Paul before falling in the last two sets to the Buckaroos in the final of the tournament. The Saints have anchors in Kaiah Gackle, Kali Dransfeldt, Lizzie Neely, and Hannah Stark, all of whom form the core of this team that took St. Paul to the brink and currently sit at 8-1 this season. They aren’t #1 yet, but the Saints can definitely lay claim to #2 in 1A with Powder Valley’s shaky start to the year. Keep an eye on these girls, they’ll make some noise in the state playoffs this fall.

The Cougars Take Their Own Tourney, Make Their Mark In 4A

Cascade got off to a strong start to 2021 and jumped to a 2-0 lead over Philomath, but they faltered in three straight sets and fell back to Earth. In their tournament, they weren’t seen as a strong favorite behind the likes of Santiam Christian, Harrisburg, and other teams, but they ended up winning their whole tournament. They took down two tough opponents in Harrisburg and Cottage Grove, who have their own rock solid status for their conferences and classes. They have strong players in Emma Gates, Lucretia Benolken, Natalee Federico, and Meah Carley, all of whom can take the Cougars to deep places in the 4A playoffs. They need to keep their consistency and close out their opponents in order to be taken seriously by the landscape at large, but they have left their mark on 4A after this weekend.

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