5A State Finals: Impact Players
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The 5A State finals last weekend were between 2022 State champs Crescent Valley High School and the hungry Bend High School. The underdogs were the number #7 and caused major upsets against #2 West Albany and #3 Crater to advance…
The 5A State finals last weekend were between 2022 State champs Crescent Valley High School and the hungry Bend High School. The underdogs were the number #7 and caused major upsets against #2 West Albany and #3 Crater to advance to the finals.
The Raiders battled and beat the Lava Bears in four sets (25-17, 25-16, 21-25, 25-8).
To recap the match, we will be identifying and highlighting players from each team that were impact players for the team. Although the Raiders came out on top, the Lava Bears also had some athletes with great performances in the match.
CRESCENT VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
Jacobson, who was named Player of the Match by Moda Health, was an integral piece to the Raiders securing the State title. She has been a steady terminator from the pins all season long, and her play at the State finals was no different. The junior outside posted 14 kills on 46 swings, hitting a .174. She finessed the sharp cross often to rack up kills. She was reliable from the service line with 12 attempts, no errors, and an ace. Playing six rotations, she was relentless on defense, posting an impressive 21 digs, tied with the libero. The Raiders are lucky to have Jacobson returning in the cardinal and gold for one final season.
Bentley, the #1 middle blocker in the state, proved herself more than worthy of that spot with her performance at the 5A state titles. Her attacking was as lethal as you could get. Bentley posted the highest hitting percentage of any athlete playing in the state finals across the 5A and 6A classifications. With 29 swings, 14 of them resulted in a kill, hitting an imposing .414. She also racked up two blocks and two service aces. Only a junior, she is uncommitted…for now. And lucky for the Raiders, Bentley will return to dominate one last season.
Mitchell, a University of Oregon dual-commit, was spectacular in every facet of the state finals. The junior setter ran the court with confidence and so much fire. Executing a 5-1, her hands were as clean as they could get, receiving no ball-handling errors. She made excellent set selection, resulting in a match-high 33 assists. When in the front row, she was offensive and incredibly efficient. Mitchell accumulated six kills on nine attempts, with an attack percentage of .556. Fortunately for the Raiders, Mitchell will be setting in cardinal and gold for one more season.
Street, the senior returning libero, was calm, collected, and ready to secure a state title for the Raiders before graduating. She was unphased by the tough serves from the Lava Bears, passing a perfect game with 18 receptions and no errors. Defensively, she made some crazy saves to keep the ball alive. She passed some lethal swings dished out by. Her reaction time and ability to read are at the next level. Still uncommitted, whoever signs Street is one lucky program!
BEND HIGH SCHOOL
The Lava Bears entrusted their backcourt to be led by junior libero Braude this season, and the state finals were no different. She did an exceptional job defending the tough cross-court swings by Isabella Jacobson and Vivian Bufford. She posted 18 digs on the evening. Her ability to put up a hittable out of system set consistently was noted, often times having the confidence to take the ball with her hands. Her teammates clearly entrusted her to do so as she racked up 36 assist attempts, more attempts than both of the setters. Luckily for the Lava Bears, Braude will be back in the navy and gold for one more season.
Leluge, who was named Player of the Match by Moda Health, was leading the fight for the Lava Bears in their quest for a 5A State championship. A middle blocker during club season, she easily transitioned to a six-rotation pin this high school season and has been dominant for the entirety of it. Leluge went to work during the State finals, racking up 21 of the team’s 30 kills. With 60 swings, she hit an admirable .167. She also posted 12 digs and was perfect on serve receive. A recent Cal Poly San Lois Obispo commit, Leluge will be a tough hole to fill for the Lava Bears going forward.
Schuller truly did it all for the Lava Bears. Choosing to run a more unique system, she swung and blocked from both the middle and right side. Across the backrow, she ran their offense as a setter. As an attacker on the right side, she did an exceptional job picking on the Raiders’ hole in the right corner, nailing the deep cross-court swing repeatedly. When in the middle, she was smart, getting a kill on a well-placed tip or swinging deep corners. And her stats prove this, with no errors on 15 swings and racking up four kills, Schuller hit a .267, the highest hitting percentage on the team. Only a junior, the Lava Bears will get Schuller for one final season!