Community notebook: Taylor to play for regional handball title

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter

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Coming off of a runner-up finish in the Washington State Handball Tournament, Jordan Taylor will shoot for a regional title this week.

A Columbia River High School graduate, Taylor will play in the A-level singles and doubles tournaments during the Pacific Northwest Handball Championships, to be played Friday through Sunday at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland.

“I feel like I’m ready for the tournament. I’ve been working a lot on my game,” Taylor said.

Taylor, 19, won the B-level regional title in 2012 and the C-level tournament in 2011. There was no regional tournament in 2013, so this is his first chance to compete at the A level in regionals.

“A bracket is a lot harder,” Taylor said, noting that the next step is the open division for professionals and other established players.

At the state tournament played April 11-14 in Seattle, Taylor lost to Matt Paul of Olympia in the A singles final after beating his coach and doubles partner Jarrad Krueger of Vancouver 21-20 and 21-18 in the semifinals.

Taylor is attending the fire science program at Portland Community College and is a volunteer firefighter for Fire District 6.

Volleyball team wins regional

Excel Northwest Team Rox, a Clark County based team, won the Columbia Empire Volleyball Association regional championship in the 16-and-younger age division.

Nine members of Excel Northwest Team Rox are from Clark County: Brooke Mosier (Union High School), Brooke Van Sickle (Battle Ground), Sammy Nguyen (Union), Sarena Bartley (Ridgefield), Ashley Watkins (Seton Catholic), Hana Wyles (Battle Ground), Haley Yoder (Woodland) and Kaila Robinson (Skyview). The team is coached by Lisa Van Sickle and Gary Van Sickle.

The tournament was played Saturday and Sunday at the Oregon Convention Center. It featured girls volleyball teams from around the region in 18-and-younger, 16-and-younger, 14-and-younger and 12-and-younger divisions.

Volleyball facility opens

The Apex, a new volleyball training facility, will hold a grand opening from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The facility is located in former warehouse space east of the Grand Central Shopping Center at 3000 Columbia House Blvd, Ste. 120. In addition to three volleyball courts, The Apex includes volleyball-specific training stations and equipment.

The facility is home of the Northwest Volleyball Academy club program, but players from other teams in the Vancouver-Portland area are welcome to train there, according to Peter Fukuchi.

Fukuchi, the owner-manager of The Apex, said this is the first volleyball-specific training facility in the metro area. He said a shortage of available space in school gyms and elsewhere was part of the reason he and a group of investors decided to open The Apex.

As part of the grand opening, Apex coaches will put on short clinics. To learn more, call 360-696-5800 or visit http://www.theapexnw.com.

Victory FC drops soccer opener

The Vancouver Victory FC men’s semi-pro soccer team lost its Evergreen Premier League debut match on Sunday, falling 2-0 on the road to Bellingham United.

Bellingham, a third-year-team in the first-year league, scored in the 43rd and 60th minute. Bellingham goalkeeper Leo Cohen stopped a Vancouver penalty kick.

According to a report on the EPLWA website, Bellingham dominated possession during the game.

“It was a hard-fought, physical match,” Victory FC owner Barrett Goddard said. “(Victory players) did a great job and we just played a very solid team on the road to open up our campaign.”

Victory FC will play its first EPLWA home match at 2 p.m. Sunday at McKenzie Stadium against Westsound FC of Silverdale.

Local football team falls at home

The Portland Monarchs beat the Clark County Vipers 20-14 on Saturday in a Pacific Football League game at McKenzie Stadium.

Details from the amateur football game were not reported to The Columbian.

Clark County (1-2) next travels to Medford for a game Saturday against the Southern Oregon Renegades. The next home game for the Vipers is at 6 p.m. May 17 at McKenzie Stadium.

Local drivers win at Woodburn

Robert Glafka of Battle Ground and Dick Arnold of Washougal were among the winners during the Tulip Festival Drag Race on Saturday at Woodburn (Ore.) Dragstrip.

Glafka drove a 1970 Torino to victory in Street Machine II and Arnold drove a 1967 Camaro to victory in the Stick Shift classification.

Devon Hilton of Vancouver was the runner up in the Hot Rod II class.

Cyclists take to area roads on Saturday

The 31st Ride Around Clark County takes place on Saturday. Cyclists of all ages will be on roads between 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Riders have four courses to choose from, with loops of 18, 34, 66 and 99 miles. All rides start and end at Clark College’s Hanna Hall on Fort Vancouver Way. All riders must start no later than 9 a.m.

Cost is $35 for those who register online by Wednesday. Those who register on ride day will pay $40.

Considered by many cyclists as the kickoff to their season, the RACC traditionally attracts riders from around the region. The largest event started by the Vancouver Bicycle Club, the RACC helps the club support various local charities.

To register, or to learn more, visit http://www.vbc-usa.com.

Pickleball event in Washougal Saturday

The Washougal Pickleball Festival, an introduction to the racquet sport, will take place 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, at the Washougal High School gymnasium. The festival is free and is sponsored by the Columbia River Pickleball Club.

The festival include exhibition play featuring eight of the best players in the nation. Top players will offer instruction, and festival attendees will be able to give the sport a try using equipment provided.

For more information, go to ColumbiaRiverPickleball.com.

COMMUNITY SPORTS NEWS is published each Tuesday. Submit items by calling 360-735-4521 or by sending email to paul.danzer@columbian.com.

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