Turner — This past weekend, the Cascade Cougars came within four points of upsetting #2 Valley Catholic. On Thursday night, Cascade went the distance in firm fashion, taking down top ranked Sisters Outlaws 25-21, 25-17, 14-25, 25-19 and make themselves a team to put into the 4A Championship hunt this season. In other words, there are now officially three teams in contention and at least two more teams that can make a staked claim. This is a development that few saw coming, as it appeared to be an inevitable Sisters vs Valley Catholic state championship this fall, but its certainly a breath of fresh air.
Cascade has a roster loaded with eight seniors, whom of which are talented enough to challenge the best that 4A has to offer. Kenna Coleman is the setter that flies the ball to get it to the threat of choice, whether it be Natalee Federico, Lucretia Benolken, or Meah Carley, and Coleman ultimately keeps the ball moving for this offense. Federico is a two way force, whether it mean drilling shots past opponents, putting up a brick wall, or if she has to dig a ball out, Federico is a great all-around player that is a huge asset for the Cougars and is irreplaceable on the floor every game. The track and field star Emma Gates serves as a defensive volleyball star, taking head on the best hitters that opponents have to offer and challenging them every time out. She has also has a volleyball IQ and instincts that are very valuable, able to make quick decisions on the go and keep plays alive or find opportunity to make an easy point on the opponent.
Lucretia Benolken and Meah Carley produce a great trio with Federico on the outside, with both having the ability to blow the ball past opposition and find the holes in a defense. While they might not have the two way threat of Federico, they both are excellent in their roles as outside hitters and provide Coleman with great options to distribute the ball to on the attack for the Cougars. Sophomore Jadyn Daviscourt is the loaded libero that fires up the counterattack, circling the floor like a vulture waiting on the opportunity to feast on an opposing team’s kill attempt and turn it into a point for the Cougars.
With their only league loss being a 2-0 collapse against Philomath, the fourth ranked Cougars sit in a three way tie atop the dubbed Wild Wild West Conference with top ranked Sisters and #8 Sweet Home. With their first date with Sweet Home on Tuesday and their rematch with Philomath Thursday, both chances to take out the Huskies and Outlaws along with avenging their loss to the Warriors in the first game of the season. The program is full of potential and has the capability to win a state title, with their resume showing that they very well might be on that trajectory this season if they can defeat Valley Catholic and a fully healthy Sisters squad in the playoffs. Either way, it’ll be fun to watch this team down the stretch of the season.