Lauren Dreves doesn’t see volleyball and tennis as being too different.
In both, the sophomore charges the net and slams the ball overhand into the opposite court.
Another similarity: In both sports, Dreves helped make the Columbia River High School trophy case a little more full.
In the fall, Dreves played a crucial role in Columbia River winning its first state volleyball championship since 2000. The 6-foot outside hitter led the Rapids with 352 kills, had 236 digs and earned second-team All-Region honors.
This spring, Dreves again was a driving force on a Columbia River state championship team. Dreves and partner Grace Rudi won the Class 2A tennis doubles title as the Rapids defended the team championship they won in 2019, prior to a two-year COVID pause on spring state events.
For her accomplishments, Dreves is The Columbian’s All-Region girls multi-sport athlete of the year.
While volleyball is Dreves’ favorite sport, tennis is the one that has always come naturally. That’s understandable, considering she’s had a racket in her hand since age 3.
Her father, Patrick Dreves, is a longtime tennis coach. He earned two Intercollegiate Tennis Association West Region Coach of the Year awards in seven seasons at Lewis & Clark before taking a job with the United States Tennis Association in 2018.
“My dad would bring me and my two sisters onto our backyard court and hit tennis balls,” Dreves said. “It’s definitely a lot more natural. When I step on the court, I definitely know what my strengths and weaknesses are.”
But Dreves got hooked on volleyball in the third grade when she watched her older sister of three years, Alison Dreves, play the sport. When Lauren was too young to play on an organized team, she tagged along with Alison’s team.
Alison Dreves also balanced volleyball and tennis. She started on varsity in both sports all four years — two at Tigard High in Oregon before moving to Columbia River. She now plays volleyball at Marian University, an Indianapolis school that reached the NAIA national semifinals last season.
“She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met and I’m around people who work hard all the time,” Dreves said of her older sister. “She paved the path by showing me that nothing comes easy.”
Not much comes easy for anyone who wants to play college volleyball, as Dreves does. When the high school season ends in November, top players go right into a grueling club season that can last well into summer.
It’s not uncommon for volleyball to become all-consuming for teenage players, some of whom suffer from burnout. Dreves believes having a second sport helps her stay enthusiastic and balanced.
“I’m always at volleyball because it’s the sport I love,” she said. “But tennis is a release of meeting new people and having a different environment. It’s a lot quieter. Sports is the way I release whatever else is going on in my life. Having another option is very important.”
In both sports, Dreves found that having a strong bond with teammates was the key to winning championships. Whether it’s with her setter on the volleyball court or her doubles partner in tennis, Dreves learned the importance of seeing the game through different vantage points.
“You have to hear what they’re saying and what their perspective is,” Dreves said. “It’s all about communication. What they’re seeing may help me on the court and what I’m seeing can help them.”
In both teams, Dreves saw a desire to never settle. It’s what she believes was most important toward each team winning a state title.
“Everyone really pushed to be better,” Dreves said. “There was nobody on the team who gave up and said ‘I’m not number one so I shouldn’t try as hard.’ ”
That competitive push is nothing new to Dreves. She finds it not only in chasing her older sister, but in being pursued by her younger sister. This season, Sydney Dreves started as a freshman on the volleyball team and reached the state tennis tournament with doubles partner Evie Wenger.
“We are very competitive,” Lauren Dreves said. “If we are going to lose, we don’t want it to be because we’re not trying our best.”
THE BEST OF THE REST
Ariel Ammentorp, Union
The University of Nebraska signee was All-Region in track and field as the 4A GSHL field athlete of the year. She was also a second-team all-pick in swimming.
Shaela Bradley, La Center
The sophomore was an All-Region pick in girls soccer as the Trico League player of the year, and the All-Region girls track and field athlete of the year.
Logann Dukes, Columbia River
The junior earned All-Region honors in soccer as the 2A GSHL defensive MVP. She also played basketball and was an all-league selection in track and field.
Olivia Euverman, Union
The Southern Oregon signee was an All-Region selection in girls soccer and a second-team all-4A Greater St. Helens League pick in basketball.
Natalie Fraley, Kelso
The Utah State signee was an All-Region pick in basketball as the 3A GSHL player of the year. She was also first-team all-league in volleyball.
Skylar Groesbeck, Skyview
The senior was an All-Region selection in basketball and a second-team all-league pick in softball. She’ll play both sports at Clackamas Community College.
Kelli Krsul, Ridgefield
The senior was a key contributor in soccer, a first-team 2A GSHL selection in basketball and a state javelin finalist in track and field.
Alexis Leone, Seton Catholic
The sophomore was the All-Region athlete of the year in cross country after winning a state title, then won two more state titles in track and field.
Savea Mansfield, Washougal
The South Dakota School of Mines signee (basketball) earned All-Region honors in basketball and track and field and was all-league in cross country.
Keanna Salavea, Heritage
The junior was the area’s top scorer in basketball, earning All-Region honors. She was also first-team all-3A Greater St. Helens League in volleyball.
Josie Settle, Kelso
The junior earned All-Region honors in track and field, winning a state title in the triple jump. She was also a first-team all-league pick in soccer.
Brooke Wirkkala, Castle Rock
The senior was All-Region in volleyball as the Trico League player of the year. She was first-team all-league in basketball and three-event state finalist in track.