Camas volleyball team finishes strong at state

The Papermakers beat Union and Puyallup on Saturday for fifth place

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Camas seniors Abbie Younkin (11) and Lauren Neff (2) dunked the volleyball on a Union Titan. The Papermakers finished in fifth place at the state tournament after beating Monroe Friday and Union and Puyallup Saturday at Saint Martin's University.

A disappointing loss to Mead in the quarterfinals Friday night could have spelled the end for Camas, but the Papermakers rallied to beat Union in five sets Saturday morning and then swept Puyallup to earn a fifth-place trophy from their first 4A state volleyball tournament.

“I am very proud of the girls for playing to the best of their ability after losing such a tough match the night before,” said head coach Julie Nidick. “This was such an amazing season. These 12 girls together are such a close knit group. Making those memories at state and bringing home hardware was very important. Especially for the seniors.”

Camas opened state with a 21-25, 25-10, 25-13, 25-14 victory against Monroe. Brindl Langley led the attack with 14 kills, 13 digs and 3 aces. Abbie Younkin added 33 assists and 9 digs. Sophie Jacobson delivered 10 kills and 3 blocks, Lauren Neff notched 6 kills and 3 blocks, Lauren Harris had 12 digs and Natalia Zea fired 7 kills.Mead overmatched the Papermakers 25-15, 27-25, 25-15. Union had Camas on the ropes twice, but the Papermakers came out swinging and outlasted their league rivals 13-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 15-4. Zea racked up 23 kills and 14 digs, Langley delivered 31 digs, Younkin had 22 digs, Abby Young added 16 digs and Harris turned in 12 digs.Camas finished off Puyallup 25-22, 25-21, 25-23 in the fifth-place match. Langley delivered 14 kills and 14 digs. Zea added 12 kills and 8 digs. Younkin provided 35 assists, 8 digs and 3 kills. Harris had 10 service points, 10 digs and 9 kills.

“To get fifth at state in your first year in 4A is a pretty good accomplishment,” Nidick said. “A lot of kids would have been intimidated by that, but our girls rose to the occasion and took the bull by the horns.”

Nidick said these Papermakers should be remembered for their dedication to the sport and to each other every day. That helped them become one of the best Camas volleyball teams in school history.

“These 12 girls would do anything for each other,” Nidick said. “Their combination of athletic ability, character and work ethic made them one of the best teams I ever coached.”