Photo by Lukas Eggen
Emma Classen (5) goes up for a block against Bend on Friday afternoon.
As of Wednesday, November 8, 2017
HILLSBORO — Dallas’ volleyball team’s magical ride ended in the quarterfinals of the 5A state tournament at Liberty High School.
The Dragons lost to eventual state champion Bend 25-9, 25-17, 25-19 on Friday before falling to North Eugene 25-12, 25-13, 25-14 in the consolation bracket on Saturday.
“The last time they made it this far was 27 years ago,” coach Shana Lavier said. “The girls were extremely nervous, especially that first set against Bend. The next two sets, they fought hard and competed well.”
Dallas finished the season with a 16-12 record overall – a stark contrast to the start of the season when the Dragons lost their first four league matches of the season.
“The girls just started believing in themselves,” Lavier said. “We worked on the mental part of the game and bringing a positive energy each day. They really started believing that they could accomplish great things this season.”
The result was a run to the state tournament that included an upset over No. 6 Marist Catholic in the first round of the state playoffs.
“I told them don't remember our last match,” Lavier said. “The match against Marist was one of the best matches I've ever been a part of. I want the girls to focus on that.”
Dallas was one of three teams from the Mid-Willamette Conference to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Dragons will lose seven players to graduation, leaving some big shoes to fill next season, but Lavier is confident in the talent coming up through the ranks. She hopes they will see that they have the potential to accomplish big things on the volleyball court.
“The best part is we had several girls who were on JV last year,” Lavier said. “You’re never sure how everyone is going to mesh, but we had 11 amazing young women. Really good human beings. They are kind and compassionate and really fun to be around. I think it’s a great thing for the younger girls to see they can do great things, and you don’t have to be a four-year varsity starter to do it.”
That included helping excite the community.
“The fan support was huge,” Lavier said. “Dallas police and fire sent our girls off on Friday. It’s amazing how our community embraces and gets behind our youth and our programs.”