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Valiants win their way back to 3A state tourney


The Valley Catholic volleyball sweeps past Amity in three

BEAVERTON — The 2012 season started out with a whole lot of “new” for the Valley Catholic volleyball team, but is going to end up in the same old place — the Class 3A state tournament.

Valley Catholic, which opened the current season without a returning all-leaguer and sporting a new head coach, seems to be hitting its stride at the right time, and proved it Saturday night when it swept past Amity 25-17, 25-6 and 26-24 in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs at Valley Catholic High School.by: MILES VANCE - ON THE BALL - Valley Catholic's Rachel Liening goes up to make a block against Amity during her team's three-game sweep of the Warriors at Valley Catholic High School in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Saturday.

It “was an impressive win for us,” said head coach Grant Anderson, who led his team to a second-place tie in the 2012 Lewis & Clark League race. “We had good contributions from every member of the team.”

Their efforts won the Valiants a berth in the Class 3A state tournament for the sixth straight year. They open play there at 8 a.m. Friday against Southern League champion Cascade Christian at 8 a.m.

The fourth-ranked Valiants brought their "A" game against Amity, breaking open game one against the Warriors with an eight-point run served up by Katharine Jesse that featured two aces, kills by TinTin Luu and Ashley Ferris and a stuff block by Rachel Liening that gave VC an early 10-2 lead.

The 13th-ranked Warriors, the third-place team from the West Valley League, got no closer than five points the rest of the way, the last time at 20-15, before VC won 25-17.

Game two was the biggest blow-out of the night, with VC blasting past Amity 25-6 to set the stage for the day's best game and VC's ultimate victory.

The Warriors pushed VC big-time in game three, but hung on to win 26-24 behind the efforts of senior setter McKenzie Peterson, senior libero Bridgette Henningsen and Jesse.

“After the match, many people approached me and commented that they felt that we are playing the best that they have seen us play all season, and I have to agree with them,” Anderson said. “As a coach, I could not be prouder of our team, and I am very happy to see all of their hard work paying off. They have definitely earned it.”

For the match, Petersen racked up 31 assists, Henningsen recorded 13 digs and 11 service receptions, and Jesse had 18 kills and 11 digs.

The win lifted VC's overall season record to 17-7, while the Warriors ended their year at 16-8.

To see a complete photo gallery from this match, please go to milesvance.exposuremanager.com.