High school sports: Columbia River earns third consecutive state volleyball title

Columbia River wins its third consecutive state championship, beating league-rival Ridgefield in the finals for the third year in a row, as well. Photo/graphic courtesy WIAA
Columbia River wins its third consecutive state championship, beating league-rival Ridgefield in the finals for the third year in a row, as well. Photo/graphic courtesy WIAA

Columbia River tops rival Ridgefield in championship match

The greatest volleyball rivalry in Clark County history got its annual state spotlight again Saturday night, and once again, the Columbia River Rapids prevailed.

Columbia River topped league-rival Ridgefield to claim their third consecutive state championship. The Rapids beat the Spudders in their previous two title matches, as well.

Adding to the intrigue: The Ridgefield Spudders had won the two previous state tournaments.

The last time a team other than the Rapids or Spudders won the 2A state championship, no one had ever heard of COVID, and this year’s seniors were sixth-graders.

Columbia River came into the state tournament as the top seed, and undefeated. The Rapids beat Ridgefield twice in the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League’s regular season and then again in the district tournament. 

Ridgefield came into the tournament seeded seventh. The Spudders might not have had their best regular season in recent years, but they are tournament tested. 

So it was no surprise to state volleyball observers to see these two teams playing late Saturday night at the Yakima Valley SunDome. 

If it’s championship volleyball night, chances are, it’s Columbia River and Ridgefield.

This one, though, was all Rapids. 

Columbia River pulled away in the first set for a 25-14 victory, then dominated from start to finish in the second set for a 25-8 win. The Rapids left no doubt in the third set, jumping out to a big early lead and cruising for a 25-7 win to sweep the match.

Clark County Today expects to meet with the champions this coming week for a review of this championship weekend.

Earlier in the day, the La Center Wildcats had reached the Class 1A state semifinals. They lost that match but rebounded to win the third-place match.

State soccer:

The Columbia River-Ridgefield rivalry is not just a volleyball rivalry.

The two teams have advanced to the Class 2A state semifinals in girls soccer. They will face each other Friday, Nov. 17 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma. The winner will play for the state championship the next day.

In fact, four 2A GSHL teams made it to the quarterfinals.

Columbia River, the No. 3 seed, topped No. 11 R.A. Long on Saturday 3-0. Ridgefield, the No. 7 seed, traveled to beat Fife, the No. 2 seed, 2-1 after penalty kicks. Hockinson, the 12-seed, lost to East Valley of Yakima 5-0.

Columbia River is the defending state champion. 

In Class 1A soccer, La Center, which had never won a state playoff match before this season, is now 2-0 at state this year. The Wildcats beat Cashmere 1-0 on Saturday to advance to the semifinals. La Center, the 5-seed, will face No. 1 Klahowya on Friday at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

State swimming:

Ridgefield’s Rebecca Yamada is a state champion swimmer.

Yamada finished first in the Class 2A/1A finals of the 100-yard breaststroke Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Yamada also finished fourth in the 200 individual medley.

Teammate Medea Rusu finished third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 backstroke.

The Ridgefield 400 freestyle relay team — Julia Smith, Rusu, Federica Catalano, and Yamada — took fourth place in state. 

Paige Dangleis of Hockinson also had two high finishes. She took third place in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 50 freestyle. For all results from the 4A, 3A, and 2A/1A meets, go to: https://www.wiaa.com/tournament-gsw/?sport_id=13

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