Ridgeview’s volleyball team is looking like a top contender for a state title.

Going into the revamped Intermountain Conference, the Ravens’ top challenge looked like it would come from former Class 4A power Crook County. But in their first of two league meetings, Ridgeview won in straight sets Sept. 25 against the Cowgirls, 25-18, 25-22, 25-22.

Junior outside hitter Rylee Troutman, who played at Crook County her freshman year, called the victory an “indescribable feeling.”

“Both of the student sections were so good, it was like winning a national championship,” she said. “This was our rival, it was the best feeling I ever had.”

The victory could be crucial in playoff positioning, since Crook County was second in Class 5A in RPI, while Ridgeview was fourth going into the match, said first-year Ridgeview coach Randi Viggiano.

“There was a lot of emotion, a lot of hype,” she said. “It was nice to come together as a team and, not necessarily play our best but still go out and get the job done.”

Ridgeview (5-0 IMC, 14-4 overall) went on to win Sept. 27 at Pendleton before playing in the Mt. Hood Invite in Gresham over the weekend. The Ravens split four games at the Sept. 29 tournament, defeating Class 5A Crescent Valley and La Salle Prep, while losing to 6A teams Barlow and Clackamas.

The Ravens had moved up to No. 2 in Class 5A, but fell to No. 5 after the tournament. Crook County is No.4, with the next highest ranked IMC team No. 9 Hood River Valley, which the Ravens play Thursday. Ridgeview defeated Hood River in their first meeting Sept. 13.

So far, the Ravens have won 37 sets, while losing only 13.

Despite the success, Viggiano, who came to Ridgeview after a state-championship winning stint at Class 2A Culver, said the Ravens still have room to grow.

“We still need to be more disciplined in our day-to-day habits and play more consistently,” she said Sept. 26.

The team has played together well, said junior setter Allicite Frost, who has already tasted the success of a highly-ranked state team last year with the Ravens’ softball team, with whom she won IMC most valuable player as a pitcher.

“We have some arguments, because we are girls and we’re like a family, but we get along well and learn from each other,” Frost said.

Viggiano was pleased with how well the team responded when the Crook County match got close, with the players on the court and on the bench responding. She has seen the team come together since it working in camps and practice in the summer.

“They’re really playing for each other, not playing for themselves,” she said.

The Ravens work in practice on avoiding overconfidence, Viggiano said.

“Day-by-day, we have to create that competitive environment here and continue to get better,” she said. “We have that conversation a lot.”

Troutman played for her mother, Heidi Wood, in her first season at Ridgeview after Wood took over as interim coach a game into the season. She said the adjustment to Viggiano has been smooth.

“Her and my mom coach for the same club, so they have the same style,” Troutman said. “My mom set us up with really good fundamentals, so now we get to keep moving forward with a different coach.”

Troutman has a goal of earning league MVP this season, something she narrowly missed in 2017, and reaching first-team all-state. She thinks the team is capable of not only winning the IMC, but qualifying for the state tournament and making a run there.

“It’s been really rewarding because we haven’t had the best records in the past,” she said. “We’re doing better every day. I think we’re going to surprise some people this year.”

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmondspokesman.com

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