6A State Finals: Impact Players
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The 6A State finals this past weekend were between program powerhouse Jesuit High School and Oregon City High School, a program seeking its first State title. The Crusaders battled and beat the Pioneers in a thrilling five-sets (21-25, 22-25, 25-19,…
The 6A State finals this past weekend were between program powerhouse Jesuit High School and Oregon City High School, a program seeking its first State title.
The Crusaders battled and beat the Pioneers in a thrilling five-sets (21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-13).
To recap the match, we will be identifying and highlighting players from each team who were impact players for the team. Although the Crusaders came out on top, the Pioneers also had some athletes with outstanding performances in the match.
JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL
The Crusaders’ backcourt was in good hands with libero Azavedo, the top DS/L from the class of 2025. She did an exceptional job leading the team and remaining calm during highly competitive moments throughout the match. She was near perfect on serve receive with 23 receptions and a mere two errors. She also racked up 14 digs. Defensively, her ability to read the attack and put herself in an excellent position to dig the ball, helped the Crusaders stay in rallies. She was able to pick up some brutal swings by Paige Theis, who was relentless on the attack. The Crusaders are lucky to have Azavedo returning in the green and gold for one final season.
Hefeneider took on a much more significant role by the end of this season, starting as the third-string setter behind juniorsand . However, when McGehee was injured, Hefeneider was well-prepared to step in, and again when Carle struggled in the quarterfinals. With the solid chemistry on the court built with Hefeneider, the Crusaders opted to keep her in the line-up during the State finals. The sophomore showed no fear when playing on the biggest stage of the season. Running a 6-2 with McGehee, Hefeneider made the most out of her three rotations on the court. She dished out 24 sets, and 21 of those converted into assists. From the service line, she was perfect, with no errors on 14 attempts and two service aces. She also tallied five digs. The Crusaders will be returning all three of their setters next season, Hefeneider included.
Lansing, named Player of the Match by Moda Health, was a critical factor in the Crusaders beating the Pioneers and securing the State title. As a right side, it is rare to be the most fed attacker on the team, but the Crusaders looked to the senior to put the ball away often throughout the match. As their most fed attacker, she finished the match with 17 kills on 43 swings, hitting a .279. Her lethal line swing proved hard to stop. She also racked up three blocks and eight digs and was perfect on serve receive with ten receptions and no errors. A recent UC Irvine commit, Lansing will be a tough hole to fill for the Crusaders going forward.
Ross has had a breakout sophomore high school campaign for the Crusaders, and the State championship was no different. As one of their outside hitters, she truly made the most out of her three rotations on the court. She posted some impressive attacking stats on the night, with 15 kills on 34 swings, hitting an imposing .353. Ross had electrifying kills in big moments throughout the match. She put the ball away on long rallies, which helped build momentum for the team and was critical in their ability to come back from a 0-2 deficit to beat the Pioneers. On serve receive, she had ten receptions and only one error. Only a sophomore, it will be exciting to see Ross progress over the next two seasons.
OREGON CITY HIGH SCHOOL
Bone took on setting a 6-2 opposite, and the State finals were no different. She made exceptional choices with set selection throughout the match. With Thies in the front row when Bone was setting for two of her three rotations, she fed Thies the quick ball to the outside often. But also did a good job working in her middle and right side when it made sense. She dished out 29 sets, and 24 of those converted into kills. She was also the second toughest server behind Williams, racking up three aces on 18 serves with no errors. With Bone graduating this season, the Pioneers will have a hole in their lineup that needs filling. However, they are returning for her final high school season, who could potentially fill that need by running a 5-1.
Thies, who was named Player of the Match by Moda Health, has been instrumental all around in the Pioneers’ success this season. During the finals, her usual play was on full display. She was fed the most sets by far and racked up 26 kills on 65 attempts, hitting a .215. The Pioneers like to run Thies fast on the outside, dishing out a set reminiscent of a 3 for her to obliterate the ball repeatedly. She was also near perfect across the back row with 12 digs and 21/21 on serve receive receptions. Across the service line, she remained calm and collected, with 16 attempts and no errors. Luckily for Oregon City, on a team with six graduating seniors, they will return Thies for her final high school season before heading to the University of Arizona.
Williams brought all the fire and intensity to the court for the Pioneers on their quest to secure a state title. With the second most attack attempts behind Thies, Williams hit a .114 with eight kills on 35 swings. Although she struggled to connect consistently on the one, having a hard time getting through the big block from the Crusaders, she managed to contribute mightily in other ways. Their toughest serve all season long; the finals were no different. She managed to post four service aces on 18 serves with no errors, the most aces on the team. She also put up a big block, recording 4 of them, the most from anyone on the team. A recent Seattle Pacific University commit, Williams will be a tough hole to fill for the Pioneers going forward.