The 2022-23 3A Volleyball season was one that seemed to provide a massive upset week in and week out. From regular season play to non-league tournaments to the state championship match, we saw the “underdog” sneak up quite frequently. For the first time ever, we saw two teams seeded fifth or lower reach the state title match. Both Burns and Valley Catholic, who have incredible volleyball tradition and history, put on a clinic in the postseason which included both sides sweeping their semifinal opponents. On top of this, 15-seed Siuslaw became the first double-digit seed to reach the 3A State Semifinals in the 16-seed era. If the 2023 season goes anything like the last, be sure to stay on your toes at all times for thorough entertainment.
Teams to Look Out For in 2023
Burns – After reaching the state title match in each of the last three seasons, the Burns Lady Hilanders come into 2023 as our top-ranked team. Burns accumulated a 30-4 record last season before eventually falling short of a three-peat. The only team that stood in their way of becoming the next 3A dynasty was the Valley Catholic Lady Valiants, who took the state title match by a score of 3-0. Burns returns all but one of their top players from last year’s squad with the graduation of Macy Temple. Key returners include First-Team All-State selections Akylah Kaino (MB), Ashley Wright (S), and Mackenzie King (OH). Also returning for Burns is Caitlyn Horrell, who had five kills in the state championship match. Burns will play with a chip on their shoulder the entire season, with the goal of making it three state titles in four years.
Sisters – For quite some time last season, it looked as if the Sisters Lady Outlaws were going to run away as favorites to win the state championship. After falling in the 4A title match in 2021, Sisters started their 3A campaign 12-1 before falling to Burns at the Sisters Tournament. Sisters would rally off of that to win 11 of their next 12 and clinch the top seed in the 3A State Tournament. However, the Lady Outlaws fell victim to a scorching hot Valley Catholic squad who beat them 3-0 in the State Semifinals. Heading into 2023, Sisters only graduates three players, none of which were named to the All-State list. Returning for the Outlaws is 2023 3A Player of the Year Gracie Vohs. Vohs has the talent to make any team in the state a contender, and with the supporting cast she has around her, there’s no reason why Sisters shouldn’t reach the Final Four once again. Accompanying Vohs at the outside hitter position is Second-Team All-State selection Gracelyn Myhre. With a plethora of attacking options, we foresee Sisters causing mayhem for opponents once again in 2023.
Valley Catholic – To our memory, there hasn’t been a team who got as hot as Valley Catholic did to end the season last year. Heading into the postseason with an 18-6 record, the Lady Valiants outscored opponents 12-1 to lift the coveted blue trophy. It genuinely seemed that they could do no wrong, playing extremely high-level volleyball game in and game out. On September 30th of last year, VC lost a five-set match to Horizon Christian of Tualatin, which seemed to light a fire inside of them. From that point on, the Valiants went 9-0 against 3A opponents, outscoring them 27-2 along the way. Valley Catholic only graduates three players off of their 2022 roster but will be tasked with replacing First-Team All-State selection Frances Eiesenhardt and Second-Team All-State selection Sophia Rewers. While none of the returners gained All-State accolades, players like Willa Kayfes, Katiya Arellano, and Taina Pinheiro all enter 2023 with State Championship experience. Kayfes had 12 kills in the title match, Arellano had 31 assists and ten digs, while Pinheiro added four kills. We expect Valley Catholic to be very, very good once again this year and believe they have the talent to go back-to-back.
Pleasant Hill – The Pleasant Hill Billies were one of the shocks of the tournament for us last year, but not in a good way. P-Hill amassed a 19-2 record heading into the State Playoffs, which was enough to gain the two-seed. After sweeping aside Siuslaw in both of their two league matchups, the Lady Vikings stunned Pleasant Hill on their own court in Second Round Playoff action. The loss for the Billies was likely due to their extremely young core, and after a defeat like that, we believe they’re ready to wreak havoc in 2023. Returning for the Billies are their three captains; Emily Krauss, Cheyenne Green, and Claire Crawford. Green and Crawford were both All-State selections as sophomores, with Green landing on Second Team and Crawford on Third Team. With their three sophomore captains ready to raise Pleasant Hill back up, we look forward to them making it to Springfield this season.
Cascade Christian – A team we expect to make a full revival in 2023 is the Cascade Christian Lady Challengers. With a good core of eighth graders coming up and only two starters graduating, we see the Challengers returning to the contender’s category this season. Cascade Christian led all playoff teams with five losses in five-set fashion last year, proving that their young core just needed some more time. Third-Team All-State selection Madison Todd will be one of those individuals asked to step up and lead the Challengers into battle. Todd will be accompanied by Poppy Freeman and Molly Griffin, who both landed on the Honorable Mention list. Cascade Christian was on the doorstep of the State Quarterfinals but lost a five-set battle to end the season against Horizon Christian. We expect that door to be kicked in by CC in 2023.
Other teams that are poised to have a strong 2023 include Horizon Christian, Scio, Creswell, Coquille, and Vale.
Other players worth keeping an eye on this season includes:
Sam McDonal (Horizon Christian, Tualatin)
Joya Euhus (Santiam Christian)
Lizabelle Osborn (Creswell)
Hayley Schaaf (Catlin Gabel)
Addison Wessels (Scio)
Sadie Graviet (Vale)
Adelle Petraitis (Yamhill-Carlton)
Kadence Soto (Scio)
Kenna Stratton (Lakeview)
Taylor Young (Corbett)
- Valley Catholic
- Pleasant Hill
- Cascade Christian
- Horizon Christian, Tualatin
Considered: Corbett, Yamhill-Carlton, Dayton, Sheridan, Siuslaw, St. Mary’s Medford