The Cavaliers knock off Number One-ranked Central Catholic for their best finish at state in four decades

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Clackamas High School volleyball players pose proudly with their hardware after knocking off top-ranked Central Catholic in Saturdays third-place final of the 2012 Class 6A State Championship Volleyball Tournament, contested over the weekend at Liberty High School. Pictured are: (first row, from left) Cassidy Scott, Claire Walker, Shelby Vasconcellos-Mattocks, Hannah Stultz, Kiana Miller, Sydney Wilson and Marissa Rhodes; and (back) Taylor Agost, Lauren OBrian, Emma Chizum, Shelby Torgerson, Caroline Combs, Tara Deaver-Noblisse, Kasey Toedtemeier and Bailey Bremer.HILLSBORO — Clackamas High School volleyball players did themselves, their school and their community proud at last weekend’s Class 6A State High School Volleyball Championships, defeating top-ranked Central Catholic in the trophy round and capturing the third-place trophy.

Saturday’s win over the Rams capped off a tremendous season. It’s the best showing since 1974, when a Clackamas High team coached by Juanita Arrant finished second to Churchill in the first year of the OSAA championships in volleyball. It’s only the fourth time that a Clackamas volleyball team has trophied at state. The Cavaliers placed fourth in 1996 and they were fifth last year.

Other accomplishments this year included going undefeated (10-0) in league for the first time in school history, defeating all of the top Class 6A teams in the state at least once, and winning their fifth league title. [Clackamas teams were first in the Wilco League in 1974, first in the Three Rivers League in 1996, TRL co-champs in 2010, TRL co-champs in 2011, and first in the TRL in 2012.]

“I’m so happy,” said Clackamas senior co-captain Shelby Vasconcellos-Mattocks. “It’s been one of the best seasons I could have ever imagined. I love the girls on the team so much!”

“It’s an amazing ending to my senior year,” said Cavalier co-captain Hannah Stultz. “We accomplished most of the things we wanted to....

“I really wanted to play in the championship match and win state, but that’s okay. I’m really, really proud of my team. We all came together [in Saturday’s trophy game with Central Catholic]. Beating Central and taking third was a great way to finished up my senior year.”

Vasconcellos-Mattocks explained why this year’s team was so successful: “We all love each other and there was no drama on the team. We played for each other and it made us play harder all the time.”

“The biggest thing is we’re good friends and we’re very close,” echoed Hannah Stultz. “Any time someone made a mistake their teammates were there to support them. It was really fun to be on this team, because everyone loved each other so much.”

“I’m so proud of our girls,” said Clackamas coach Jim Stultz. “Not only for how they competed this year, but for how they represented Clackamas High School with class. They are a true ‘team.’ They play for each other and support each other like no other team I’ve had. They’ve been a coach’s dream.”

Saturday afternoon’s match with three-time defending state champion Central Catholic was an intense battle, with the Cavaliers winning the match in five games, 15-25, 26-24, 25-18, 16-25, 15-13.

Coach Stultz gave this rundown: “The first game did not go well. We made 10 unforced errors and lost 25-15.

“We won the next two sets —  26-24, 25-18. But Central Catholic is accustomed to winning and they came back strong in set four with a dominating 25-16 win.

“In set five we were down 5-1 to start. The girls did not get flustered and tied it at 5. We were tied again at 10.

“Finally we took the lead for good — up 14-11. Central closed to 14-13. But at set-point, Taylor Agost’s kill sealed the deal. We beat Central Catholic for the first time and took home the third place trophy.”

Agost, a 6-2 junior, hit .246 and had 18 kills in the match with the Rams. Vasconcellos-Mattocks (12 kills), Sophomore Lauren O’Brien (9 kills) and junior Emma Chizum (7 kills) were also tough on the attack.

by:  JOHN LARIVIERE -     At left, Clackamas junior Taylor Agost (7) battles at the net with Central Catholic sophomore Whitney Turner (11) in Saturdays third-place final of the Class 6A State Volleyball Championships. Clackamas seniors Hannah Stultz (3) and Shelby Vasconcellos-Mattocks (12) stand ready to assist. All three Clackamas players were selected to the all-tournament team.Hannah Stultz excelled as setter, with 47 assists. She also served 13-for-14, with four ace serves. Senior Kiana Miller was tough on defense, with 17 digs, out of 22 attempts.

Ranked third in the state in the final OSAA power rankings, the Cavaliers advanced to the eight-team Class 6A State Championship Tournament through a first-round win over South Medford (15-13, 25-13, 25-15) on Oct. 31, and a second-round win over 14th-ranked Southridge (25-22, 25-19, 25-21) on Nov. 3.

They won their state-tournament quarterfinal match over sixth-ranked Sheldon (25-17, 25-15, 25-17) on Friday morning, but lost to second-ranked Jesuit (25-18, 25-15, 25-19) in Friday night’s semifinals.

Jesuit went on to top fourth-ranked Roseburg (25-23, 22-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-8) in Saturday night’s championship final.

The Cavaliers got three players named to the all-tournament team: Stultz, Vasconcellos-Mattocks and Agost.

Stultz served 93 percent for the tournament, with 13 ace serves, 153 assists and 36 digs for the Cavaliers’ three state-tournament matches.

Vasconcellos-Mattocks served 95 percent, had 57 kills with a .268 hitting percentage, passed 2.34 and had 25 digs.

Agost served 90 percent and had 59 kills, with a .261 attack percentage.

O’Brien had 41 kills and eight blocks; Miller served 93 percent for the tournament, with eight aces, passed 2.22, and had 48 digs.

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