The Cavaliers rally, after yielding to TRL rival Lakeridge in their opener

HILLSBORO — The Clackamas Cavaliers did themselves proud at last weekend’s Class 6A Volleyball State Championship Tournament, capturing the fourth-place trophy.

It’s the third state championship trophy in the past three seasons for the Cavaliers, who placed third last year and fifth in 2011.

Ranked seventh in the final Oregon School Activities Association RPI rankings, the Cavaliers breezed by ninth-ranked Sheldon (25-15, 25-21, 25-22) in Saturday’s fourth-place final, after advancing through a hard-fought win over Three Rivers League rival West Linn (20-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-22, 15-11) in the consolation semifinals.

Clackamas was in charge from the get-go in the trophy match with Sheldon, as senior outside hitter Taylor Agost put the Cavaliers up 7-0 to start the match with kills on the first seven points.

The Cavaliers’ only loss of the state championship came at the hands of league-rival and second-ranked Lakeridge (22-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-20) in Friday’s quarterfinals. Lakeridge went on to defeat third-ranked Roseburg (25-21, 24-26, 25-11, 25-22) and top-ranked Central Catholic (23-25, 25-12, 25-22), earning the first state volleyball championship in the history of their school. Clackamas and Lakeridge had tied for first place in the TRL, the Cavaliers claiming a share of their fourth straight league title.

Agost received special recognition at this year’s state tournament, getting the nod to the Class 6A Tournament’s first all-star team, along with Lakeridge seniors Maddie Marshall and Saskia McNairy, Central Catholic senior Natalie Batiste, Central Catholic junior Ramey Gardner, and Roseburg senior Kiana Cash. Agost had 64 kills in the Cavaliers’ three state-tournament matches.

Clackamas coach Jim Stultz said of the Cavaliers’ success over the last four seasons in the TRL and the last three years at state: “I’m pretty excited, because it’s taken a long time to get here. The last four years are the culmination of a lot of time and a lot of effort and hard work, by a lot of people.”

The Cavaliers should be tough again next year, as they move from the TRL to the Mt. Hood Conference. They’ll lose eight players to graduation, including first-team all-league offensive star Taylor Agost and middle blocker Cassidy Scott, an honorable mention TRL allstar.

But they’ll return six players from this year’s varsity roster, including four players who received all-league recognition — junior outside hitters and middle blockers Lauren O’Brien and Caroline Combs, junior setter Marissa Rhodes and sophomore opposite-side hitter Emiko Kahler.

Also seeing action for the Cavaliers this fall were: seniors Tara Deaver-Noblisse (libero), Celeste Çoryell (defensive specialist), Julia Jenkins (defensive specialist), Emma Chizum (opposite-side hitter), Shelby Torgerson (opposite-side hitter) and Bailey Bremer (outside hitter/middle blocker); and juniors Ally Atkeson (defensive specialist) and Jensen Perrick (defensive specialist).

“The Mt. Hood Conference is a tough league, but I expect us to continue competitive,” Stultz said. “Our freshmen went 10-0 in the Three Rivers League this year, and our jayvee went 9-1.”

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