Camas volleyball falls to Skyview 3-2

Young team fights to keep league title it has held for past two seasons

Camas sophomores Kate Golb (left) and Mackenzie Hancock (right) cover the net during a five-game match against Skyview on Oct. 2. "Hancock has done a great job stepping into a leadership role this season," Camas volleyball coach Michelle Ford said.

Camas sophomore Grace Varsek rises up for a spike against Skyview. The Camas gym was decorated in pink to raise breast cancer awareness.

After two consecutive league championships, winning has become a huge part of volleyball culture in Camas — even after nearly all of the girls who produced those recent championships graduated.

An undefeated trip through league play so far this season ended with an epic battle against Skyview in the Camas gym, Oct. 2.

The match was a long one, extending to five emotionally charged up-and-down games, but in the end Camas lost the match 3-2, while Skyview remained undefeated in the Greater St. Helens 4A League.

“I have so many emotions right now,” Camas sophomore Mackenzie Hancock said after the Oct. 2 match. “That first game, we really had the momentum, and then we just let it go because I think our team got comfortable. But then, we came back in the fourth set and fought hard.”

Sea of pink to raise breast cancer awareness

Camas started the match with a ton of energy and high fives, wearing pink jerseys in a packed gym decorated with pink balloons and banners to honor those battling breast cancer and their families.

“We always work to raise breast cancer awareness during the month of October,” Camas head volleyball coach Michelle Ford said.

The flood of emotion overwhelmed the visiting Skyview Storm team, resulting in a 25-13 game in Camas’ favor.

Then, Skyview responded with two dominating games of their own. The young Papermakers found their composure in the fourth game, forcing a fifth game, but came up short in the decider, losing 9-15 to the Storm.

Hancock provided leadership for Camas with 10 kills, 7 assists, 1 ace and 7 digs, while Emma Villaluz contributed 2 aces, 12 digs, 5 kills and 15 assists.

“These teams we’re playing have a lot of girls that have been playing together for years and years, and we are young and not completely comfortable with each other yet. But we have our moments, like against Union when our chemistry was amazing,” Hancock said, referring to a September 3-1 victory over Union High.

Four sophomores in starting lineup

The Papermakers’ starting roster this season includes four sophomores. Mary Pipkin, who played on past championship teams, is the only senior in the starting lineup.

After the tough Oct. 2 loss to Skyview, Ford remained very pleased with how her young team is progressing halfway through the season.

“Skyview is ranked No. 1, and Union is ranked No. 2, and we’ve already beat Union,” Ford said. “We do get to play Skyview and Union one more time.”

The coach said she is confident her young team will continue to grow as Camas fights for the league title it has held for the past two seasons.