There’s a new volleyball power on the block in the 4A Greater St. Helens League, and they call themselves Papermakers.
Camas introduced itself to the largest classification in the state last week by torching Skyview 25-18, 25-19, 25-16 and Union 25-16, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16.
“These were huge wins in terms of setting the bar high,” said head coach Julie Nidick. “Our goal is to win league and push from there. Obviously, these girls want to get back to state. This was the first step.”
The Papermakers blew Skyview out of the Camas warehouse on Sept. 25. Brindl Langley delivered 20 kills and 21 digs, and Abbie Younkin added 11 digs and 39 assists. Lauren Harris had 9 kills and 6 digs, Natalia Zea earned 8 kills and 6 digs, Abby Young dug up 13 digs, and Lauren Neff notched 4 kills and 2 blocks.
Langley took the Camas crowd for a ride, as she jumped, dove and dashed to keep the ball alive.
“I just wanted to go as hard as I could and not stop for anything. Every point counts,” she said. “Without my team, I couldn’t play anywhere near how I can now.”
Langley established a strong bond with Younkin, Neff, Taylor Carlson and the rest of her teammates. When Zea moved to Camas from El Paso, Texas, it gave the Papermakers another senior who attacks every ball with a smile.
“The first time she walked through those doors, I literally screamed with joy. The fire, the energy and the kills she brings to the table are already making an immediate impact,” Langley said. “She’s become a big part of this family. I feel like I’ve known her for 10 years, like a sister.”
Nidick said Langley, Younkin and Zea feed off each other’s energy on the floor. It appears Zea has been a part of the program for four years and not just four weeks.
“What you saw [against Skyview] I see every day in practice,” Nidick said. “Those three girls are inseparable.”
Camas beat Union in four games Thursday. Langley led the way with 22 kills, 18 digs and 2 aces. Zea added 10 kills, 3 blocks and 11 digs, and Younkin delivered 43 assists and 7 digs. Harris had 9 kills, 9 digs and 6 aces, Neff notched 3 kills and 5 blocks, and Young provided 18 digs.
After playing 14 sets in one day, the Papermakers finished in sixth place at the Kent tournament on Sept. 22. Camas defeated No. 6 ranked Curtis, No. 5 ranked Newport and No. 3 ranked Bellermine Prep. Langley fired off 64 kills, 7 aces and 77 digs; Younkin racked up 38 service points, 9 aces, 33 digs and 130 assists; Zea delivered 27 kills and 22 digs; Harris had 51 kills, 7 aces and 35 digs; Neff notched 9 kills and 6 blocks; Young earned 62 digs; Kathleen Brumfield collected 29 service points and 8 aces; and Sophi Jacobson scored 10 kills and 4 blocks.