Camas volleyball headed to state

Camas junior Emma Villaluz sets up her teammates in a bi-district seeding match against Skyview. She had 20 assists in the match.

Camas head volleyball coach Michelle Ford pumps up her team during a tense, five-game match against Skyview High. After losing this seeding match in five games, the Papermakers won their first two matches at Skyview, punching their way to the state tournament.

The Camas High volleyball team, a young crew mostly led by sophomores and juniors, held strong Nov. 3, during a marathon, five-set match, to clinch a spot in the 4A state tournament.

Just getting to the bi-district tournament was a difficult road for the Papermakers. Initially, it appeared Camas had won the league championship after Skyview High forfeited its last game of the season due to playing an ineligible player.

Then, Skyview appealed to the league based on a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) rule that allows an ineligible player to compete if the player doesn’t contribute too much to the match in question. The league overturned the forfeiture, meaning Camas and Skyview had to play a tie-breaker for the league championship at Hudson’s Bay on Oct. 30. Camas lost the match in five very close and intense games.

“I believe that match was very helpful to us, as it gave us an opportunity to play high-level competition right before the postseason,” Camas’ head volleyball coach Michelle Ford said.

Junior Emma Villaluz had 20 kills in the losing effort against Skyview, and was very confident after that game, heading to the postseason.

“I think we are ready. We want to go to state and we all know we have to be mentally ready and mentally prepared for everything, because you never know what to expect,” Villaluz said.

Tie-breaker prepares Papermakers for postseason

Four days after the league championship tie-breaker, the Camas girls opened the bi-district tournament at Kentlake High in Kent, Washington, with another five-game match.

This time, the Papermakers scored 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-10 for the victory over Enumclaw. Villaluz had 25 assists and sophomore Mackenzie Hancock added 21 assists and 17 kills.

“I think our key is to control momentum by playing with passion,” Hancock said.

In the quarterfinals, Camas squared-off with Rogers-Puyallup in yet another epic battle, beating them 15-25, 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 15-11.

Villaluz and Hancock led their team in statistics once again. The win in the quarterfinals earned Camas a spot in the state tournament. First, however, the team must play the Olympia High Bears in the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Kentlake High School, in Kent, Washington.

“It’s just going to take a lot of hard work and passion,” Villaluz said.