Oregon City junior Paige Thies had 49 kills in quarterfinal and semifinal wins Friday, propelling her team to the 6A final.
Oregon City junior Paige Thies had 49 kills in quarterfinal and semifinal wins Friday, propelling her team to the 6A final.

FOREST GROVE – A determined Oregon City team shook off a slow start to make school history Friday night in the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 6A volleyball tournament at Forest Grove High School.

Led by the powerful hitting of 6-foot-2 junior Paige Thies, the third-seeded Pioneers (23-3) defeated No. 2 Sprague 13-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-20 in the semifinals to earn their first-ever berth in the championship match.

Oregon City – which lost in the quarterfinals the last two years, finishing in fourth place last season – will play perennial powerhouse Jesuit (30-2), the top seed, in the final Saturday night.

“It's amazing. It's just unreal with our team,” said Thies, an Arizona commit. “Our team has just built so much and we've come so far from early in the year. It was talked about going this far, but we didn't know if we'd actually make it come true.”

Erica Frafjord, who is in her sixth season as Oregon City's coach and 10 year in a program, praised how her players responded to the pressure in both matches Friday. The Pioneers beat No. 6 Sherwood in three sets in the quarterfinals.

“We knew what we needed to do, and we knew that we could come prepared,” Frafjord said. “I've got a great, well-rounded team. Today we played in unison, and it really showed. For us to come back with fortitude and really show the kind of team we are, I'm incredibly proud of those girls.”

Thies was electric, collecting 27 kills and 16 digs in the semifinals. The two-time Three Rivers League player of the year is a lightning rod for the team.

“I'm very fortunate to have Paige,” Frafjord said. “She's just a crazy athletic kid who has a great attitude and just works relentlessly to get shots down for us. She terminates more balls that anyone else. She is a dynamic athlete.”

Sprague dominated the first set with its dominant front line of 6-0 freshman Brooke Friesen, 5-7 senior Sidney Friesen and 5-8 freshman Khloe Livingston. But Oregon City jumped to early leads in the next three sets and did not allow the Olympians to catch up.

“The first set, we were kind of tired and we just weren't in it,” Thies said. “I think we just kind of realized that this is like the make-it-or-break-it game, so we kind of pulled it together.”

Senior Brooke Williams had 11 kills and junior Emma Comer added 16 digs for Oregon City, which split two matches with Sprague in weekend tournaments this season.

The Pioneers will take another swing at Jesuit, which defeated them 25-22, 25-17 in the South Albany State Preview tournament Sept. 23.

“We didn't do as well as we could have in that match,” Thies said. “It'll be good to see if we bring our A game tomorrow.”

A look at Friday's other semifinal matches:


No. 1 Jesuit 3, No. 4 Nelson 0: One year after holding off Nelson (27-7) in a five-set semifinal thriller, the Crusaders cruised to a 25-12, 25-14, 25-22 victory over the Hawks.

Jesuit's balanced attack – which featured 6-3 sophomore Sadie Ross (nine kills), 6-0 senior Lilly Lansing (eight kills) and 6-0 senior Emma Williams (six kills) – was too much for Nelson. Junior Hayden McGehee and sophomore Sloan Hefeneider had 16 and 14 assists, respectively.

“We played really well as a team, so I'm excited for tomorrow,” Lansing said.

Last year, Jesuit entered the tournament undefeated and with the top seed, but after surviving five-set matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals, the Crusaders lost to Sheldon in four sets in the final.

“We have some unfinished business to do,” Lansing said. “I feel like it was more like we underestimated Sheldon, and we played 10 sets the day before. We were all tired. We just didn't have the fight that we needed. But I think we've got it this year. I think the unfinished business definitely is setting a higher drive for what's to come.”

Jesuit replaced three starters from that team.

“Last year I didn't play a lot. It's like a completely different team,” Williams said. “But we still carry that with us. I feel like we're just ready and we're not taking anything for granted, using all of our opportunities.”

The Crusaders are going for their eighth title since 2004 and their first since going back-to-back in 2018 and 2019.


No. 1 Crescent Valley 3, No. 4 Thurston 0: The reigning champion Raiders (21-2) polished off the Colts (20-6) to advance to the final.

Taelyn Bentley, a 6-0 junior, led the way with 10 kills and six aces. Junior Bella Jacobson (eight kills), junior Kamden Mitchell (23 assists), senior Dani Street (15 digs) and junior Vivian Buford (15 digs) also came through with strong performances.

Coming off their first title last year, the Raiders looked like a team ready for the big moments.

“We had so much more energy in this match,” Street said. “We knew Thurston was going to be a tough team, so we knew we had to bring our A game.”

Crescent Valley coach Troy Shorey said his team's play was “much improved” from a three-set quarterfinal win over Summit.

“We kind of won ugly this morning,” Shorey said. “But they're a resilient group. They're a great group that works really well together.”

With much of last year's team returning, the Raiders expected to contend for a repeat.

“I felt pretty confident in what we had coming back and all the new players, as well,” Street said. “We have some younger players on the team, but they've really done a great job integrating into our team, and getting on the same level that all the returners are on.”

Shorey said of his players: “They have that continuity. Plus their expectations were to be here again.”

No. 7 Bend 3, No. 3 Crater 1: The Lava Bears (16-3) followed a quarterfinal win over No. 2 West Albany with a convincing 25-14, 23-25, 25-23, 25-5 victory over the Comets (22-9).

Bend gets a chance at redemption against Crescent Valley, which defeated the Lava Bears in three sets in last year's final. Bend's two championships came in 2016 and 2017.

Lava Bears senior middle hitter/outside hitter Chloe LeLuge said last year's loss to the Raiders “definitely stuck with us. That was a big thing, like, we want to get back to the finals to prove that we belong here. We're not going to be taken in three sets.”

The 6-3 LeLuge, who has committed to Cal Poly, was the driving force for Bend against Crater. Last year's 5A co-player of the year overwhelmed the Comets with her power and range.

“She is a gem to coach,” Bend coach Kristin Cooper said. “The smile that you see on the court is genuine. She loves her teammates. She's there for everybody. It brings the whole team up.”

The Lava Bears stumbled in the second set against Crater but rebounded to close out the victory. The third set was tied 19-19, but Bend got a big kill from junior Jasi Kjellesvik to lead 23-21 and closed out the 25-23 win on a kill by junior Lucy Shuller.

“Going into this tournament, I could feel our determination,” LeLuge said. “I feel like that was what really helped us come through in the last two sets, just that sheer passion.”

The Lava Bears know they will need to carry that intensity forward against Crescent Valley.

“They're a great defensive team,” LeLuge said. “We always pride ourselves on our defense, and it's exciting to see another team like that. It's inspiring. It's fun to have a team that matches us. Last year we were a little bit caught off-guard, that Crescent Valley is total defense. This year we know what to expect.”

Quarterfinal highlights


Jesuit ousted South Salem 19-25, 25-19, 25-7, 25-14 behind 13 kills from Lansing and nine kills from Wiliams. McGehee had 19 assists. … Gabby Hill had 18 kills to lead Nelson past Westview 18-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-21. Madi Andrews collected 12 kills and seven aces and Ella Gardner added four aces. … Oregon City's Thies racked up 22 kills as the Pioneers bounced Sherwood 25-23, 25-17, 25-15. Williams and Olivia Adamo had 10 and eight kills, respectively. Bella Rivera (22 assists) and Evie Morrissette (19 assists) directed the offense, and Comer added 13 digs. … The Friesen sisters and Livingston showed the way for Sprague in a 25-13, 25-23, 25-12 win over Sunset.


Bend knocked out second-seeded West Albany 25-22, 25-22, 25-13, riding the dominant net play of LeLuge and excellent serving. The Lava Bears trailed by five points in the second set, but after a timeout, regained the momentum behind the serving of Schuller. … Crescent Valley made quick work of Summit 25-14, 25-19, 25-20. Jacobson and Bentley each had 14 kills, Mitchell recorded 30 assists and Street added 20 digs. … Thurston came back from down two sets to outlast South Albany 25-27, 10-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-10. Emily Buller had 47 assists, Julia Cook collected 25 kills, 22 digs and two aces and Scout Martin added 17 kills, 15 digs, two blocks and two aces. … Crater took out Wilsonville 25-19, 25-22, 25-22, getting eight kills each from Alexa Gugliotta, Callie Aplin and Danica Huntoon. Taylee Wilson had 27 assists and Joslynn Pope added 14 digs.