State volleyball: Columbia River claims championship

Rapids rally to win first and fourth sets, setting off a state championship celebration with a victory over Ridgefield at the Yakima Valley SunDome

Volleyball fans pretty much knew all along that these two teams would face each other in the championship match.

The two best teams all season? Why not compete one more time, with everything on the line?

Fans might not have known who was going to win, but they knew the title would come down to Columbia River vs. Ridgefield.

The Columbia River Rapids played like they knew, though.

Down 23-20 in the first set? No problem. They knew.

Down 23-19 in the fourth set? No problem. They believed.

And now? It is the Columbia River Rapids standing atop the Class 2A Washington volleyball world.

The Columbia River Rapids, shown here earlier in the week practicing for the state tournament, won the Class 2A state title on Saturday, taking down league-rival Ridgefield in four sets. Photo by Paul Valencia
The Columbia River Rapids, shown here earlier in the week practicing for the state tournament, won the Class 2A state title on Saturday, taking down league-rival Ridgefield in four sets. Photo by Paul Valencia

The Rapids beat the two-time defending state champions 25-23, 25-16, 20-25, 25-23 at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

Columbia River trailed for most of the first set, but rallied to tie it at 23 before winning the next two points to take the lead in the match. The momentum carried over into the second set, as well.

The Spudders responded with a championship effort in the third set.

For a while, it appeared this one was heading for a five-set match, just like the district championship the previous week. Ridgefield took a 23-19 lead in the fourth set.

Nope. River wasn’t having any of that. Another rally. This one for the state championship.

Columbia River completed the season 23-1. The lone loss? To Ridgefield, back in September. Since then, the Rapids topped Ridgefield three times. Once in the regular season. Once at district. And then Saturday in the state finals.

It is Columbia River’s first state volleyball title since 2000. In that year, the team also beat a Clark County opponent, taking down Camas when both schools were 3A programs. This is Columbia River’s third state title.

Ridgefield’s run of titles has ended but not its incredible run of volleyball. This was the eighth consecutive state tournament appearance for the Spudders. They finished third in 2017, then won championships in 2018 and 2019, and now a second-place finish.

(Note: We hope to have more on Columbia River’s championship effort in a follow-up story.)

Class 4A

The Camas Papermakers bounced back from their loss Friday night in the semifinals by winning two matches in the consolation bracket to earn the fifth-place trophy.

Camas got to the trophy match with a 3-1 victory over Gonzaga Prep on Saturday morning. The Papermakers lost the first set, then found a winning touch the rest of the day. In the afternoon, the Papermakers took down Mount Rainier 3-1 to finish fifth.

This was the third consecutive state tournament appearance for Camas. The Papermakers finished seventh in 2019.

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