HILLSBORO — Corvallis High dominated on the volleyball court Saturday night as it had all season.
The top-seeded Spartans were just too much for sixth-seeded Ridgeview, which entered the match with its own impressive list of accomplishments.
The Ravens found few holes to exploit, and Corvallis kept the pressure on and demonstratively marked off the final box on its list.
The Spartans controlled the match from the middle of the first set and rolled to a sweep, claiming the OSAA 5A state championship at Liberty High.
Set scores were 25-18, 25-13, 25-18.
Returning all its key players from a 2017 third-place finish, Corvallis (25-2) made itself an early favorite for the state title and never relinquished that spot, losing just eight sets all season.
Ryann Gregg, the Spartans’ standout junior outside hitter, said it was dedication and a common goal that had her team celebrating with a new blue trophy.
“So we all really worked together to get that,” Gregg said. “We used each other in the best way possible and we played to our best strengths. We wanted it for each other.”
Corvallis had talent across the board that most opponents couldn’t match, even the best that the 5A classification had to offer. The Spartans dropped one set in their final four matches of the season, the last three at the state tournament site.
“I tell the girls, when it comes down to it, they have to stop us,” coach Steve Hyre said, whose team lost only to 6A teams Sunset and McMinnville.
Gregg was joined on the all-tournament first team by teammate Kylynn Quinn, a senior setter. The Spartans’ Nevaeh Bray, a junior outside hitter, and Taylor Quinn, a senior libero, made the second team along with West Albany’s Sydney Backer and Alexis Chapman.
Corvallis broke open a close first set with a 10-2 run that put the Spartans ahead 19-12. Ridgeview (23-7) got no closer than five points from there.
The stretch was sparked by two straight combination blocks of Rylee Troutman by Tanya Sisson and Taylor Silbernagel. Sisson opened the run with a kill and Allie Watts cleaned up an overpass.
The Spartans flew out of the gates in set two behind four straight service aces by Sisson. The first was aided by hitting the net, and the next three found the floor more cleanly.
The senior hitter considers herself a consistent server and takes signals from Hyre on where to place the ball. Sisson didn’t have an answer why it worked so well Saturday.
“I just went back there, took a deep breath, that’s all that happened,” she said.
The Spartans led 8-0 and later 12-1 with the help of a Bray block and a kill on a scramble play.
Corvallis led by 13 before Ridgeview, of Redmond, eventually rallied to 20-12 down with a 5-0 run that included four Troutman kills. But the Spartans responded with four in a row to go ahead 2-0.
The Spartans left no doubt they were still the favorite opening the third set.
They went up 6-1 being two more Sisson aces and points by Silbernagel and Watts.
Contributions throughout the lineup kept the Ravens at bay.
The offense and defense combined to keep Corvallis ahead despite another Ridgeview rally. The Ravens climbed to within two twice after trailing by seven, but each time the Spartans had an answer.
A Watts kill finished the match.
Gregg finished with 13 kills and 12 digs and Kylnn Quinn 30 assists and eight digs. Sisson added eight kills, six aces and two digs; Bray nine kills and three digs; Watts seven kills and four block assists; and Taylor Quinn 16 digs; Hanna Jones six digs; and Silbernagel four block assists.
Troutman, the lone unanimous first team all-tournament selection, had 16 kills while hitting .174.
Ridgeview set up its third-set rotation in order for Troutman to face the shorter Kylynn Quinn more often. Despite what would seem like a disadvantage, the Spartans kept Troutman from dominating the set.
“As short as Ky is, she gets up,” Hyre said. “With the big middles that we have, Nevaeh (Bray) and Allie (Watts), they were active the whole tournament. It says a lot. Our middles help dictate what our defense is going to do.”
Added Kylynn Quinn: “They were so good. They were able to find (Troutman) and track her and get up and put her down. Once they put her down we were able to get ahead.”
Hyre said he couldn’t be more proud of a team and the way the girls handled the pressure of the top ranking.
He had seen his players take their game to a higher level when facing stiff competition throughout the regular season, and they did it again at state.
“All of them stepped up, Nevaeh especially in this tournament,” Hyre said. “I told her at the beginning, ‘make yourself seen’ … and she really did.”
The Spartans were playing in the program's first volleyball championship in 35 years. Corvallis won state titles in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1983, all under coach Judy Lovre.
Corvallis opened the tournament with a four-set quarterfinal win against eighth-seeded Hood River Valley and then swept Mid-Willamette rival and fifth-seeded Dallas in a semifinal.
Ridgeview defeated third-seeded Crater and second-seeded West Albany both in four sets Friday to reach the final.
Sisson said a significant factor that put her team on top was its depth. Where other teams have six or eight players in their rotations, the Spartans feel comfortable going 12 deep.
“We push each other,” she said. “We’re so matched in practices that it allows us to push in games. It develops so much more quickly.”