The six-foot outside hitter finished her high school career with 1,200 kills, including 398 this season with a kill success rate of 52.7 percent.
One of the state’s top recruits in the Class of 2024, Dreves will continue her volleyball career at Auburn University. But not before leaving a high school legacy that will be hard to match. For a second consecutive year, Dreves is The Columbian’s All-Region volleyball player of the year.
When the spotlight was brightest, Dreves and her teammates performed their best. Columbia River beat 2A Greater St. Helens League rival Ridgefield in the 2A state title match for the third straight year, going 4-0 against the Spudders this season.
“We went out there knowing people were going to play their best against us,” Dreves said. “We had a huge target on our back.”
Dreves is the constant thread through River’s three-year championship run. Of those three teams, this year’s was the only to go undefeated.
“This team was just so well-rounded,” Dreves said. “Every single position was so good and filled by the right person.”
Dreves also worked with her third different setter in three seasons. In all three cases, each made the other better. Caroline Hansen won all-state honors in 2021 and now plays at Western Washington. Sophie Worden also won all-state honors in 2022 and plays for Montana Western.
This year, senior Macey McCoy stepped into that role to earn first-team all-league honors and will be a strong contender for all-state recognition.
“With each setter, I had a close relationship with all of them,” Dreves said. “I think it’s just being open-minded with each other and learning from the mistakes we made together. It’s adjusting to each other and then finding what works.”
Dreves sets the team’s emotional tone on the court. It’s one of focus and intensity, shown with a tightly-clenched fist-pump after a big kill.
“Something that’s really important with the River program is we always look at the goal,” Dreves said. “Yes, we have fun in practice. We have fun on the court. But our main goal was to win state. We can’t just let anybody off easy because some teams may come out and shock you.”
Dreves plans to enroll early at Auburn and take part in the volleyball team’s spring workouts. The school in Alabama is one of seven Southeastern Conference teams to reach this year’s NCAA tournament.
“I’m just going to focus on putting my head down and working hard,” Dreves said. “I obviously have to build muscle and get bigger, faster and stronger. But I’m also working on my game IQ. The program I’m headed to, there are so many great players. Everything is just on a whole new level.”
After elevating Columbia River to a state powerhouse, Dreves isn’t leaving the cupboard bare. Led by younger sister Sydney Dreves, a three-time first-team all-leaguer, the Rapids could again be among the state’s best next year.
“They know what it’s like to get there,” Dreves said. “I think they’ll be fine. My sister will take over. I mean, she did a fantastic job this year. She knows how to lead a team. I think every single one of those players will get it done.”
All-Region Volleyball Team
Player of the Year: Lauren Dreves, Columbia River
REST OF FIRST TEAM
Lizzy Andrew, Ridgefield: The 6-foot-5 senior has committed to Stanford. Had 190 kills this season with a .450 hitting percentage, 37 stuff blocks and 71 aces.
Sydney Dreves, Columbia River: The junior outside hitter shined on offense and defense. Had a team-high 234 digs along with 248 kills and a .445 hitting percentage.
Kendall Mairs, Camas: The junior hitter/setter battled through injuries to earn 4A GSHL co-MVP honors. Had 249 kills, 318 assists and 218 digs and 54 aces in 28 matches.
Macey McCoy, Columbia River: The senior setter averaged 29.2 assists over 24 matches and earned first-team all-league honors. Also had 135 digs.
Halle Reiter, Camas: The senior libero has committed to Santa Clara. The 4A GSHL co-MVP had 265 digs and 50 aces in leading Camas to sixth place at 4A state.
Emelynn Cecil, Prairie: The senior libero averaged 12.1 digs in 3A GSHL play. Led the Falcons to a 3A GSHL title and fifth place at the Class 3A state tournament.
Logan DeJong, Columbia River: The senior middle blocker and versatile role-player had 35 blocks, 110 kills and a hitting percentage of .355.
Makena Gamby, Mountain View: The versatile senior was the 3A GSHL co-MVP and helped earn the third state berth in program history. Had 322 assists, 282 digs and 184 kills in 28 matches.
Hailey McEllrath, Ridgefield: The six-foot senior has committed to play collegiately at Lamar. Had 118 kills with a .373 hitting percentage and 31 stuff blocks.
Ali Millspaugh, Prairie: The senior outside hitter was the 3A GSHL co-MVP, recording double-digit kills in six of nine league matches as the Falcons went 8-1.
Billie Ross, La Center: The junior middle blocker was Trico League MVP and led the Wildcats to third place at 1A state. Had 343 kills, 62 blocks and 212 digs.