After losing the district title to Prairie by one point, the Camas volleyball players were not going to let that happen again.
“When our girls knew they had another shot at Prairie, in their minds they were not going to lose to them again,” said Camas head coach Julie Nidick. “Prairie is a great team, but on this day, we were the better team. It was our mistakes that cost us the match against them at districts. My girls were not going to let this one get away from them again.”
The Papermakers played with a chip on their shoulders in the bi-district championship tournament Friday and Saturday, at Auburn Mountainview High School. After defeating Bonney Lake and Capital Friday to qualify for state for the eighth year in a row, Camas rallied back from two sets down to defeat Auburn Mountainview in five.
Brindl Langley led the comeback effort with 19 kills and 17 digs. Joy Richter added 12 digs, Sydney Schwartz had 11 kills and Amber Corbett chipped in with 10 kills.
“Our games against Auburn were some of the best we played the whole weekend,” Langley said. “We pulled through when we needed to, and it definitely showed up in the score.”
This set up another clash between the Papermakers and the Falcons in the championship match. Camas stumbled a bit in the second set after winning the first one, but never let Prairie get back into the fight. The winning point for the Papermakers came on a net violation by the Falcons in the fourth set.
“It took a long time for the referee to make the call. His hand was moving in slow motion,” Nidick said. “Everybody was holding their breath, and then the whole place just exploded.”
Langley delivered 16 kills and 10 digs. Mckenzie Elliott added 12 digs and 5 aces. Corbett stepped up to score 15 kills, Richter had 18 digs, Britteny Gilge gathered 16 digs and Schwartz chipped in with 6 kills and 2 blocks.
“By the third or fourth set, you could see that Prairie was crumbling and we were all together,” Langley said. “Getting that win was a big weight off our shoulders.”
Three games into the tournament, Nidick was surprised to see that Tatum Schroeder did not have a single hitting error.
“I just wanted to make every hit and every tip count. A kill’s a kill,” Schroeder said. “It’s my senior year and I have been playing volleyball since seventh grade. Might as well put all that hard work into action and leave everything on the court.”
Schroeder and the Papermakers plan to do just that at state Friday and Saturday, at St. Martin’s University in Lacey.
“There’s not the same respect for Camas as there has been in prior years,” Schwartz said. “We want to change that. We want to get the respect back.”