In a hard-fought volleyball match on Tuesday, Oct. 10, where Ridgefield had the upper hand early in the first two sets but failed to hold the lead to the end, the Spudders dropped three straight sets for the second time this season against 2A Greater St. Helens League rival Columbia River High School.
On Monday, Sept. 25 at Columbia River High School, the undefeated Spudders fell to their rivals for the first time. Both matches resulted in sweeps.
In last week’s meetup, the Spudders had momentum multiple times in the first two sets, which pleased Ridgefield volleyball head coach Sabrina Dobbs.
“I think we played well. We played better than we did last game,” Dobbs said. “I think this takeaway is just, I think we just played well today. So I think takeaways [will be] coming out positive from here today.”
Heading into the Oct. 10 matchup, WIAA ranked the Spudders at ninth overall in 2A and the Rapids fifth overall. The Spudders ranking did not change in the latest rankings on Wednesday, Oct. 11, but the Rapids moved up three spots for second in 2A.
With the Rapids being a juggernaut of volleyball, Dobbs said the opportunity for her team to play them twice in the regular season is a positive thing.
“We enjoy playing River because it really shows what our potential is, and so it really gets us ready to see what we need to work on for districts and then going into state,” Dobbs said. “This is our only challenge usually during the season so we love the fact that we get the opportunity to do that.”
The match featured the Rapids’ 6-foot Auburn commit Lauren Dreves along with Ridgefield’s 6-foot, 5-inch Stanford commit Lizzy Andrew, the two top volleyball players in the state for the 2024 recruiting class. With Andrew’s size and talent on display every match, Dobbs believes the Spudders’ setter Callie Curran deserves a lot of credit.
“Lizzy [Andrew] wouldn’t be as good if we didn’t have our setter. And our setter, well, this season, she is adapting to Lizzie, who’s 6’ 5”, and she has to set her higher so that she could get kills,” Dobbs said.
As well, Dobbs said Ridgefields other middle hitter, Hailey McEllrath, has been doing a great job.
“Yesterday in practice, we really worked on utilizing our middle hitter(s). So I think Lizzy did a really good job, and our other middle hitter, Hailey McEllrath, she’s amazing as well. We got blocks when we needed to.”
In the Oct. 10 match, Andrew recorded 13 kills, one block, six aces and three digs. McEllrath made nine kills, one block, two aces and 10 digs. Curran posted six digs and a team-high 29 assists.
On Thursday, Oct. 12 the Spudders got back in the winning column with a 3-0 win over Hudson’s Bay High School to improve to 10-2 on the season. Ridgefield played in the tournament at Mountain View High School on Saturday, Oct. 14 and a home game against Fort Vancouver High School on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Results not available at time of print.
The Spudders will play a home game this Wednesday, Oct. 18 against Mark Morris High School of Longview at 7 p.m. then travel to Woodland High School on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Next week, the Spudders will take the 4A juggernaut of Camas high School at home on Monday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. which has Dobbs excited for the challenge.
“We have a tournament coming up this weekend,” Dobbs said. “So hopefully we perform well and we work out our kinks before districts. Then we have Camas and that will be a good game for us to be challenged against.”