Packing a Papermaker punch

CHS volleyball team invades University of Washington Saturday

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Stefani Sorensen puts the hammer down for the Papermaker volleyball team during practice.

Stefani Sorensen is one of several Camas High School volleyball players ready to rise.

“I’m very excited about this year,” she said. “It’s my senior year, and I want to make it the best it can be.”

On Saturday, the Papermakers venture to the University of Washington to play in the Emerald City Volleyball Invitational. Doors open at noon, and admission is free. Camas faces Union at 1 p.m.; Christian Faith at 2 p.m.; Mount Si at 3 p.m.; Life Christian at 3:30 p.m.; Eastlake at 4 p.m. and Bellevue at 5 p.m.

“You can try to do all you can to practice, but there’s nothing like live touches on the ball,” said head coach Julie Nidick. “We open up against Skyview right when school starts, so it will be nice to have six games under our belt beforehand.”

Nidick said the key matches for the Papermakers are against Union, Mount Si and Bellevue. Mount Si defeated Camas in the second round of the state tournament. It was a grueling five-set contest that eclipsed the midnight hour. The Papermakers persevered and placed seventh at state.

“[Mount Si is] the one I’m looking forward to,” Nidick said. “Playing there is going to help, but team chemistry is something that takes longer to develop. You hope to have it before the start of league.”

Sorensen feels a strong connection with fellow seniors Kelsey Benton, Marleen de Zoete, Hannah Taylor and Mariah Vega. She hopes the trip to UW brings the returning players and newcomers closer together.

“Any high school athlete dreams of playing for a university,” Sorensen said. “It will be great for all of us to have that experience.

“The seniors are the foundation for our chemistry. We have all played together for so long, in both club and high school,” she added. “The younger players are also going to rise up and do well. This team has so much promise.”