Camas volleyball sets sights on Prairie tonight

Winning team will take sole-possession of first place in league

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The volleyball rivalry between Camas and Prairie is well-documented. Tonight in the Papermaker warehouse, it enters the next phase.

“This is one of the biggest rivalries for our school,” said Camas head coach Julie Nidick. “The ball will bounce the way it bounces. I want to come out and see our girls play Camas volleyball. Attack with everything.”

For the past three years, the Papermakers have defeated the Falcons for the district title. After Camas beat Prairie three times in 2010, the Falcons are looking for some payback. There is something about seeing Prairie on the schedule next that brings out the fire in the Papermakers.

“There’s a different level of intensity in the gym before Prairie,” said senior co-captain Joy Richter. “Wherever we are, we are thinking about this match. It’s important to all of us, and it’s important to them too. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the whole season.”

Camas is coming off an exciting, five-set victory over Columbia River by the scores of 25-18, 25-18, 26-28, 24-26 and 15-13. Brindl Langley delivered 19 kills, 24 digs and 2 aces, and Abbie Younkin added 46 assists and 10 digs. Tatum Schroeder fired 13 kills, Britteny Gilge got 9 kills and 3 aces, Sydney Schwartz scored 8 kills and 2 blocks, and Abby Young had 7 digs.

“Anyone watching from the stands could tell you it was one of the best matches they have seen. It was loud, and the atmosphere was great,” Nidick said. “We let River believe they could come back and win. Volleyball is such a game of momentum. Hats off to our girls for making the right adjustments.

“I give River a lot of credit. They have some strong players in the lineup, and they play scrappy defense,” she added. “We were the better team that night. The next time we play them at their place, it could be a different story.”

If the crowd in Camas is as loud as it was when River came to town Sept. 20, the Papermakers and Falcons are in for a royal treat.

“The team with the most drive and energy is going to win this game. That is something we definitely have,” Richter said. “Camas fans are louder than anyone else in the league. It makes us want to play that much harder for our school.”

The Papermakers keep building team unity and trust, on and off the court. Success is trickling down from the varsity to the junior varsity and C-squads.

On Saturday, the Camas junior varsity team defeated Woodland, Heritage, Mark Morris and Columbia River to win the Mountain View tournament. The Chieftains took the first set of the championship match, before the Papermakers pulled away on some impressive serving.

Also on Saturday, the Camas C-team finished first at the Heritage tournament. After victories over Union and Hockinson, the Papermakers avenged an earlier loss in the season to Skyview in the championship match. Outstanding serving and ball control were keys to the Camas victories.