Bend High played its way to the brink of its first Clearwater Classic championship for the first time in the tournament’s 35-year history.
But the Lava Bears were headed off by a team destined to win it for the 10th time.
Central Catholic of Portland defeated Bend 2-0 (25-22, 25-22) in the Gold Bracket final, the Rams’ 10th Clearwater title overall and their sixth in the last nine years at the prestigious Bend-based tournament.
“We had a great day today,” said Lava Bears coach Kristen Cooper. “Lots of just good volleyball — fun to coach, fun to watch.”
The Clearwater Classic — a tournament big enough (22 teams) to have its own sponsor (Pahlisch Homes) — was again staged at three Bend high schools. After morning pool play, the teams split off into the Gold Bracket at Bend High, the Silver Bracket at Mountain View and the Bronze Bracket at Summit.
It was a solid day for Summit as well. Playing on their home floor, the Storm beat Crater, Hood River Valley and Reynolds in pool play to advance to the Gold Bracket. There, Summit, the defending Clearwater champion, fell in the quarterfinal round to West Linn, 2-1 (25-21, 17-25, 15-13).
The third co-host, Mountain View, advanced from the pool round to the Silver Bracket. The Cougars lost in the quarterfinal round to Roseburg, 2-0 (25-18, 25-16). Crook County reached the Silver final but lost there 2-0 to North Medford. Among the Cowgirls’ bracket victories were over Reynolds, 2-1 (25-11, 21-25, 15-10), and Ridgeview, 2-1 (25-15, 16-25, 16-14).
In the Bronze final at Summit, West Albany was a 2-1 winner over Hood River Valley.