Playing in front of a packed warehouse at Camas High School propelled the Papermakers to a five-set victory against Battle Ground Sept. 30.
“It was probably the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at a volleyball game before,” said senior outside hitter Lauren Harris. “Once the final point was scored, I’ll never forget how the crowd just filled the court.”
Harris paired 20 kills with 28 digs and 2 blocks to help Camas defeat Battle Ground 23-25, 27-25, 23-25, 25-13, 15-10. Carly Banks added 25 kills and 2 blocks. Christina Elliott earned 58 assists, 18 digs and 2 aces. Sophi Jacobson delivered 13 kills, 7 digs, 5 blocks and 2 aces. Anna Roche contributed 7 blocks and 4 kills.
“Hard work pays off, and it really did when we had to go five with them,” Banks said. “Having that huge student section to play in front of is something we’ve always wanted. All of us fed off that excitement and it gave us more energy to play.”
Head coach Julie Nidick said the Papermakers trailed by 10 points in the third set before getting a second wind.
“The tenacity they showed was pretty special,” Nidick said. “They believed they were the better team. They didn’t want to let all those fans down.”
Banks racked up nine kills for Camas in the second set. Jacobson helped the Papermakers build a 15-7 advantage in the fourth set with a block and three kills. Camas jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the fifth set on kills from Banks and Harris, a service ace for Elliott and a block by Roche.
“It just really showed how hard we have been working this season, how much of a team we are and how close we are together,” Harris said.
Nidick enjoyed listening to students and teachers talk about the victory at school the next day.
“It’s nice to be the rock stars of the school. Those fans definitely had a part in our win,” Nidick said. “It’s nice for these girls to finally have their time in the spotlight. They deserve it. They work hard.”
The Camas volleyball players established a new level of trust with each other and found out how much the community appreciates their effort. They hope to use that support as motivation for the second half of league play.
“We really had to push ourselves to keep going strong,” said senior libero Abby Young. “When we work hard, work together and play as a team, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.”