2A State Finals: Impact Players
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The 2A State finals at the beginning of the month were between the 2022 champs, Salem Academy, and Portland Christian, who last won a championship in 2018. The Royals battled hard and narrowly beat the Crusaders in a thrilling five-set…
The 2A State finals at the beginning of the month were between the 2022 champs, Salem Academy, and Portland Christian, who last won a championship in 2018.
The Royals battled hard and narrowly beat the Crusaders in a thrilling five-set match (22-25, 26-24, 16-25, 25-22, 16-14).
To recap the match, we will be identifying and highlighting players from each team that were impact players for the team. Although Portland Christian came out on top, Salem Academy also had some athletes with great performances in the match.
PORTLAND CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL
Baird, who was named Player of the Match by Moda Health, played a huge role for the Royals this season. She was one of their primary weapons during the State finals, scoring consistently from the outside but also from the baseline and playing solid defense all over the court. With an explosive approach and powerful, quick arm swing, Baird was hard to stop, racking up 25 kills on 50 attempts and hitting an impressive .400. Baird also showcased her steadiness from the baseline, serving a .955. On defense, Baird was quick, putting up 19 digs and 24 passes in serve receive. Her all-around solid game was definitely imperative in the Royals’ win. Luckily for Portland Christian, Baird is only a junior and has one more shot to lead the Royals to another victory.
Freshman setter Becker was very impressive during the state title match, earning a spot on the 2A All-Tournament Second Team. Becker has great hands and places her sets well, which proved beneficial for the Royals’ offense. She also displayed strong decision-making skills, feeding Finley Marine and consistently to score. Becker’s connection with her middles, too, was solid. On 69 set attempts, 60 of those converted to assists. Becker also notched 6 kills and 3 digs. The setter will be one to watch over the next few years.
Johanson, another freshman standout, played well from the middle for the Royals and was also named to the 2A All-Tournament Second Team. An athletic and powerful player, Johanson was quick on transition and, when she was set, she often pounded the ball, throwing off the Crusaders’ defense. Johanson tallied 9 kills on 25 attempts. From the baseline, she didn’t miss a single serve out of 15 total serves. And, at the net, Johanson posted 1 solo block.
Marine shone during the state title match. The sophomore outside hitter is a versatile attacker, and frequently put the ball away from the front and back row. With an explosive approach, big vertical, and super quick swing, Marine dominated offensively. She racked up an incredible 30 kills on 71 attempts, hitting a .225. Not only was Marine a formidable attacker, but she was also impressive on defense and serve receive, posting 18 digs and 30 good passes off serves. From the baseline, Marine notched 2 aces on 13 total attempts, rounding out her all-around excellent play during the match.
SALEM ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL
Brewer, who was named Player of the Match by Moda Health, was, unsurprisingly, a powerhouse for the Crusaders. The sophomore outside hitter is an incredibly impressive, versatile, physical player, and her quick, athletic play is always fun to watch. Standing at 6’0”, Brewer was nearly impossible to stop offensively, racking up 31 kills on 80 attempts and hitting a .275. With solid court vision, Brewer effortlessly hit the ball right into the openings on the court consistently, both when hitting from the outside and from the back row. Brewer was also very quick on defense, picking up tough shots with ease and reacting quickly to keep the ball alive. She tallied 22 digs and 26 passes in serve receive. And, from the baseline, Brewer showcased her tough jump serve, racking up 3 aces and 0 errors on 18 total serves.
As one of the setters for the Crusaders, senior Krieger was instrumental in running Salem Academy’s offense. Krieger’s soft touch on the ball and good setting placement was huge for her team’s attackers. With 49 total set attempts, 29 of those converted to assists. Krieger was also steady in serve receive and on defense, notching 9 digs and 22 passes off serves. Krieger’s serve was also solid, and she posted 2 aces and 0 errors on 15 total serves.
Senior attacker Robertson played well during the state title match, hitting from the outside and posting the second highest number of kills for the Crusaders. Robertson did an excellent job of reading the court and seeing the openings, which allowed her to mix up her shots and put the ball away consistently. On 52 total attack attempts, Robertson notched 14 kills and hit a .212. Robertson’s front row defense was also solid, and with her quick reactions to the ball she managed to tally 5 digs.